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  • Shawn Thornton

His Masterpiece

Sunday - February 6th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 2:1-10


For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10

Eight years ago, Lesli and I traveled to Russia to visit some of our missionary partners from Calvary. We spent two days in St. Petersburg visiting some of the historical sites. One of our highlights during our time there was seeing Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son in the Hermitage Museum. The painting has stood out to me since someone introduced it to me while I was preaching a series of messages on the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15.

It would take too long to highlight all the various aspects of the painting that drew me in as a fan. Instead, let me share two observations about the artwork that make it unique. First, the prodigal's sandals are very worn. This is because he has been on a long journey. Second, the hands of the father on the shoulders of the son appear to be different from each other. One hand looks worn and aged. The second hand looks young and tender. The symbolism here is that as the prodigal returns, his father greets him with firmness and tenderness.

On the day Lesli and I were at the Hermitage Museum, it seemed like everyone came to the museum at once. Most wanted to see Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son. As a result, I got little time to stare at and soak in the beauty of the artist's masterpiece. I got a few moments with the painting, but the crowd pressed in. I may not have gotten the time I wanted but seeing the 1669 painting made my day. You cannot see it up close without believing it must be a masterpiece.

In Ephesians 2:10, Paul says that we are God's handiwork or masterpieces. He actually uses the Greek word from which we get our English word "poem." Through our salvation and subsequent growth in Christ, God makes us a beautiful work of art. We display the Master's hand at creating beauty, character, and strength. God declares you his masterpiece. He wants you to reflect His glory and grace with others.

The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt is worth so much. It is considered one of the artist's most outstanding achievements. Yet, it pales in comparison to the work of art God has made you be in Christ. Think about it. God is the master artist of all the universe. You are His poem or great work of art - His Masterpiece!

Thank God for making you, His artwork. Thank Him for making you, His masterpiece.


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