“THE FINEST ROBE, A RING FOR YOUR FINGER, AND SANDALS FOR YOUR FEET”

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2004

prodigalLuke 15:11-24: To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.  13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.  17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”‘  20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’  22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.

For many of you reading this passage it’s probably a very familiar passage for you.  But, do you believe it and can you apply it to your life.  Many times when we fail in life we have a hard time accepting the fact that our Father in Heaven loves us with an unconditional love.  Sometimes we even have a hard time telling others in the midst of their failure that their Father in Heaven loves them no matter what.  Instead of telling them that there is grace, love and forgiveness available to them, we pull out our list of wrongs and rights, some of which are our own opinions and not Biblically backed, and we tell ourselves and others everything that is being done wrong in our lives.  Today, I want to encourage you, especially if you have slipped away from God, that your Father has waiting for you, the finest robe, a ring for your finger, and sandals for your feet.

Let’s take a quick look at these three items.

First, the finest robe.  In studying this you find that the finest robe was used only during times of celebrating such as births or festive occasions.  It is also said that it is very probable that the finest robe was actually the father’s robe.  Second is a ring for his finger.  During this time to give someone a ring was a mark of honor and dignity.  It was very likely a family signet ring – a symbol of reinstatement to sonship in a well-to-do house.  Lastly, he told them to get sandals for his feet.  During this time slaves or servants did not normally wear sandals.  The son was looking to be received back as a servant, not a son but the father was saying, “No, I won’t receive you back as a servant.  I’ll receive you only as a son.”  Even in the Old Testament sandals had to be removed to be in the presence of God, on holy ground, but under this new covenant our Father is saying, “Put on your shoes, you’re worthy to be in my presence just as you are.”

What a picture this story is of the Father’s love.  It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, it doesn’t matter how far you’ve slipped, nothing can keep you from the Father’s love.  In this story, the minute the son started moving towards the father, the father ran to the son.  If you will just take a step towards your Father, no matter what your situation, He will come running to you.  He has the finest robe, a ring for your finger, and sandals for your feet.  You don’t have to return as a beaten down servant or slave, you can return confidently as a son or a daughter!  You have a purpose in your life and your Father in Heaven is waiting to start the celebration!

Listen to the song I’ve included with this.  Leave all your troubles and wrongdoings behind you, turn towards the Father, He’s a well that never runs dry.  God Bless!

 

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