The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is definitely the most vivid and detailed description of how Father God loves and views his children, and wants them to share everything He owns. We all know the story of how this rebellious son prematurely claims his inheritance, left the security of his fathers house, and actually squandered his resources until he was ‘down and out’ and literally ‘starving to death’ or ‘perishing with hunger’. Doing life his OWN way! When he realized his situation, he acted immediately by returning to his family. The main aspect here is not that he realized his dire situation, but how his father reacted!
The scriptures say that while he was still a long way from home, his father saw him. This illustrates that his father was looking and hoping for him to return. There are MANY rooms He wants to fill! (John 14:2; 1 Tim. 1:4) When he saw him, the father was ‘filled with compassion for him, ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him’. Just as the psalmist record in Ps 36:5-9:
Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light (NIV)
The father, not only welcomes his son back, but restores him to what he was destined for: to be a son of the house, with authority and not a slave! Ephesians 1: 4-5 records that ‘he chose us in him before the creation of the world’ and ‘predestined us in love as sons.’ The moment you are saved and come to Jesus, you immediately become part of Father’s house with position and privileges. Just like Joseph in Genesis 41 when his position changed within a few hours from being a prisoner to being in the ‘Prime Minister’ of the most powerful country in the known world that time.
The ‘lost’ son was immediately dressed in the ‘best robe’ to cover the rags and distinguish him from the rest. A ring was put on his finger, endorsing his authority in the father’s house. Sandals were brought for his feet, because slaves went barefoot and he is no more a slave of somebody else, but a son and heir of the family.
His homecoming was also celebrated by killing the fattened calf, only kept for special occasions and important visitors, for a feast. A feast with the best food, music and dancing, a real party!
Yes, as Christians we are ‘loved ones and sons and daughters of the living God’ (Rom. 8:14; 9:26; 2 Cor. 6:18) who receive the ‘full rights’ (Gal. 4:5)!! Wow!!! Jesus said that there is rejoicing in heaven over every sinner who repents or anyone returning to Father God’s house.
We are wearing the robes of righteousness, His signet ring and sandals to walk, prepared to spread the gospel of peace in the world. We are sent by Jesus, in HIS authority to make disciples of all nations, to baptize and teach them, to heal the sick, raise the dead, drive out demons, break down and plant, loose the chains of injustice, untie yokes, set the oppressed free, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and provide shelter for those in need. (Jer. 1:9, 10; Isa. 58: 6-7; Mat. 10:8; 28:19-20)
As Father God has sent Jesus, He is sending us his children, to represent, operate and function in his Name that is above every name in heaven and earth. ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…..’ (John 20:21; 2 Pet. 1:3)
Let us remember this commission and the authority He has given us every day in 2014!!