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The truth that Jesus was

The truth that Jesus was conveying in the parable of parables is simply this: God is a Father who runs to rescue us. He is truly the God who saves. A minister in a church in America was about to start his sermon during an evening service when he briefly introduced a visiting minister in the congregation. He said that the visitor was one of his dearest friends and accordingly asked him to say a few words. With that, an elderly man walked to the pulpit and told a story: A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast when a fierce storm hit them and the three were swept into the sea as the boat capsized. Grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most painful decision of his life. Who was he to throw the lifeline to? The father knew his own son was a Christian and that the son’s friend was not. The father yelled, ‘I love you’ to his boy as he threw the line to the boy’s friend, pulling him to safety, while his son disappeared for ever beneath the waves. The father knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus but couldn’t bear the thought of the friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore he sacrificed his son to save the son’s friend. Concluding, the visitor said, ‘How great is the Father’s love for us that he gave his only Son that we should be rescued. So take hold of the lifeline that the Father is throwing you in this service tonight.’ With that the old man finished and the minister took his place in the pulpit, and preached his message. At the end of the meeting, some teenagers came up to the visitor. They had been looking very sceptical throughout the old man’s story and had not responded to the appeal. ‘That wasn’t a very realistic story,’ they said mockingly ‘No dad would do that.’ ‘You’ve got a point,’ said the visitor. ‘But I’m standing here tonight to tell you that this story gives me, personally, a great glimpse into the Father’s love for us. You see, I was that father, and your minister here is my son’s friend.’

Mark Stibbe

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From the book "The Father You've Been Waiting For: Portrait of a Perfect Dad"

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