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Blood and Wrenched Guts

‘His father … filled with love … ran to his son.’ Luke 15:20 NLT

We’ve heard the Prodigal Son story a million times, in a million different ways. So, zoom to verse 20, and let’s focus on just one word. ‘Esplanchnisthē’. (No, don’t worry. It’s not a disease. It’s Greek.) It’s from the verb ‘splagchnizomai’, which we mostly translate as ‘to have compassion’. Thing is, though, its meaning is a bit stronger than that. It’s more along the lines of being so moved by something, that you feel it deep in your stomach. The closest translation that we have is, actually, probably ‘gut–wrenched’.

Go back and read verse 20 again with that in mind. ‘…when he was still far away, his father saw him, and loved him so much that it felt like someone had grabbed a handful of his intestines, and aimed a punch at his belly…’ That’d be the Vision180 translation of Luke 15:20. Fun fact. The only other times we see the ‘splagchnizomai’ used in the Bible—yep, the only other times that we see someone truly ‘gut-wrenched’ by their love for humanity—it’s Jesus. And it’s always followed by Him doing something about it. That is what it means to care. That’s the heart of the Father, the love of God, carried to earth by the Son. Jesus felt our pain so deeply in His own gut, that He let His blood be spilled to fix it.

SoulFood: Ezra 6–8, Mark 1:35–45, Ps 78:17–31, Prov 19:27–29

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2016

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