A Stinking Hiker
There is a certain smell to a hiker in hot weather, especially following several days on the trail without a shower, or dip in a river. To say the least, the um, “fragrance” is undesirable.
Jesus once told a story about a stinking hiker. It was the third of three stories told in succession, having one point in common.
The story is of a man with two sons, one of whom demanded his inheritance long before it was due, which he then took "into a far country", and there “squandered" with "reckless living" (Luke 15:13). Soon the party life led him to living in a literal pigsty. His money ran out, a famine came, and he had to live in the fields, feeding pigs, and starving until he craved the pigs' food.
Coming to his senses, the son embarks on a hike back to his father, planning to say three things, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants" (Luke 15:17-19)
What would a man smell like who has been living with pigs, and hiking back home for days from a far country?
"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him". The point in all three stories Jesus told in Luke 15 is this; something is lost (a sheep, a coin, a son), and what is lost is of great value. This son is so valuable to the father that, despite his stench, he embraces him and kisses him.
So are we.
The story isn't as much about the behavior of the son as it is about the heart of the father. The father represents God. The stinking son is any sinner who turns to Him, saying the same things the son said. "I have sinned" and "make me Your servant". Those who turn from sin and come to God discover they are valuable to Him, and find the same sort of embrace the stinking hiker son found.
Will you head home to your Heavenly Father today? Christ died on a cross to wash the stench of sin away, so that lost people can be reconciled to God, the Heavenly Father.
Head for Him today!