And Kissed Him – Gospel in Life

And Kissed Him

Tim Keller |  October 26, 2008

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  • The Church (Unity, Fellowship, Leadership)
  • Christian Living and Obedience
  • Forgiveness
Luke 15:11-24
RS 205-5


The one thing everybody knows when you read the parable of the prodigal son is it’s about forgiveness. The parable is a beautiful picture of a father that forgives his son and welcomes him home.

Let’s take a look first at what it teaches us about forgiveness and then ask the question … What kind of community would we be if we took the teaching about forgiveness seriously? Consider these four headings: forgiveness is assertive, it’s sacrificial, it’s powered from inside, and it leads to a resurrection.

Luke 15:11–24

The story of the lost son helps us understand God’s grace and how it encourages a unique Christian community built on forgiveness. This forgiveness is active, involves giving up something, comes from within us, and promises new life. Grasping these aspects can help us see how forgiveness can truly change a community.

1. Forgiveness is active

The story of the lost son shows a deep kind of forgiveness, where the father rushes to hug his son without knowing if the son is truly sorry. This active forgiveness, taught by Jesus, asks us to forgive even before others say sorry. This is different from the world’s way of waiting for others to apologize first, showing us the importance of being the first to forgive.

2. Forgiveness involves giving up something

The story of the lost son shows two wrongs: wasting money and embarrassing the family. When the son comes back, he tries to fix his mistakes, but the father, showing God’s forgiveness, takes on the loss and embarrassment himself. This story highlights how forgiveness can change things, as it involves giving up our anger and can lead to healing and freedom.

3. Forgiveness comes from within

The father’s loving reaction when his son comes back, shown in the story, reflects Jesus’ self-giving love on the cross. The act of forgiving, which needs humility and letting go of what others owe us, shows the priceless treasure we have in Christ. This view of forgiveness can mend relationships and create a community that reflects the message of forgiveness in the gospel.

4. Forgiveness leads to new life

Healing relationships is crucial in our community, which means we need to forgive and kindly correct those who have hurt us, all for love’s sake. We should aim for emotional humility, welcome different views generously, and not put others down. Knowing that God’s forgiveness frees us from our past, we can help others find similar freedom through a kind, convincing, and forgiving approach, powered by the gospel.



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