“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.'” (NIV) Luke 15:22-23
The father gave a shocking command when he said, “Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.” The ring signified full rights for the son. Today we would say it gave him power of attorney. The son now had the authority to manage the rest of the family fortune. He had squandered one third of the family’s wealth and now the father was entrusting him with the remainder of the assets. What irony! And the sandals. . . only servants went barefoot, sons wore shoes. He came home barefoot, as a servant, but now, his father is showing he’s a son!
And if all of this was not enough, the father exclaimed, “Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.” The son had come home a vagabond and was “re-fathered” – he became a son with new status, new rights, a new authority, and a new love for his father. He came in rags, and was adorned in splendor. He came hungry, hungry for not just food, but meaning and purpose in life, the father fed him a banquet. He came home unworthy. . .and because of his father’s loving compassion, his life was changed forever!
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (NIV) I John 3:1