“But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept.”….. Esau said, ‘What do you mean by all this company that I met?’ Jacob answered, ‘To find favor with my lord.’ But Esau said, ‘I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.’ Jacob said, ‘No, please; if I find favor with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God – since you have received me with such favor. Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want.’ So he urged him, and he took it.” Genesis 33:4, 8-11
Verse 4 reminds me of a similar verse, Luke 15:20, “So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.”
However, as I think deeper there are differences. Returning to God, as the Prodigal son returned to his father in the Luke passage, I/we are welcomed by and through the free Grace of God, free to us, but paid for by God through the sacrifice of the Son. Jacob sent gifts ahead to his brother Esau as a peace offering, as a way to smooth things over, to in affect purchase Esau’s grace and forgiveness. Oh that I would not try to bribe God for forgiveness and acceptance but also be willing to give up much of myself to others to achieve reconciliation and peace. That I would give deeply of myself and my stuff freely to others in a sincere desire to enter into the loving relationship of/with others that God desires. Regardless of who caused the separation, me or another; that I would always recognize that all differences between others are reconcilable, especially when I invite God into the center of the relationship.