“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:22-24)
It may appear that Jesus is just saying that God will treat us really nice when we come back to Him. But, as with everything in scripture, there is significance in every detail. It carries weight for how He looks at us and for how we love each other.
The robe – this shows an honored position. Remember Joseph and the robe Jacob gave him. When we yield our lives to Jesus, He restores us to honor. When someone repents, or is growing in the Lord, we should honor them, not belittle them for their weakened position.
The ring – authority. When we come to Him, we are given full rights as sons of God, rights to speak, to bind, to loose, to rule. We are lead away and abdicate our role. In repentance, we are restored to our intended position in Him. Satan would tell us that we have to earn our authority but the Father gives it to us at the moment we return. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to lessen the position of a repentant heart.
The calf – food, good food. The greatest need of the prodigal is sustenance. He was dying of starvation. But God doesn’t feed him table scraps. He feeds him richly. This goes beyond feeding though. It speaks to healing, to restoring health, vitality, life to the fallen. It is said with some truth that the Christian army is the only one that shoots their wounded. We should be healing them.
I don’t mean this to be a dry discourse. It means more than I can express that Jesus doesn’t just accept me back. It amazes me that He brings joy and peace and everything good, though I never deserved any of it, when I submit my will to His. It surprises me that He not only loves….