John Stott wrote: “The parable of the lost son gives us a vivid account of human lost-ness. Here is everybody’s autobiography. The son made a deliberate bid for independence. Then in the far away country his self-will degenerated into self-indulgence. His lifestyle became extravagant and immoral. And when famine struck, he sank low enough to feed pigs. No one lifted a finger to help him. He was bankrupt, hungry and alone. Meanwhile his father’s love never faltered. He missed him and longed for his return. This is grace, namely unmerited and unsolicited love. Moreover, God’s love suffers for us. The whole village would have known the son was in disgrace, deserving to be punished. But instead of inflicting suffering on his son, the father bears it himself. A man of his age and position would always walk in slow, dignified steps, and would never run anywhere. Yet here he is racing down the road, risking the ridicule of the whole village, and taking on himself the shame and humiliation due to his returning son. The father’s coming down and going out hint at the incarnation; the spectacle in the street hints at the cross.”