But the father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.” Luke 15:22
If you are a believer, you are probably familiar with the touching story of the lost son that Jesus shared. Who do you think the father in the story represents? Jesus’ Father in heaven, of course. Jesus was giving us a picture of His Father, who is also our Father.
In the story, the father was seen running toward his son, who was returning home. (Luke 15:20) Do you realize that God is never described as being in a hurry in the Bible? He is always cool and composed. The only time He is portrayed as being in a hurry is in this story. Though improper in Jewish culture, the father held up his robe and ran. Where was he running to? Why was he in such a hurry?
The father was in a hurry because he had seen his son, who was still a long way from home. He was running toward his son as he could not wait to embrace and kiss his child again. The father was in a hurry to clothe his son with the best robe.
The son had rejected the father and his family to fulfill his selfish ambitions, which didn’t go as planned. He found himself feeding pigs, the lowest of the low, the most unclean of unclean animals in the Jewish culture. He was so hungry and desperate to eat, that he left the pig pin to return home. When his father caught up to him and kissed him, he began to offer his rehearsed speech to his father about wanting to be a servant – all motivated by food. He had outwardly returned to the father’s house, but inwardly he was still motivated by self.
The father’s love, the father’s grace, would wipe all that away. Without even acknowledging his son’s request of self loathing and begging, the father clothed him. Right in the field with no bath, no cleaning, just covering. You see, love covers a multitude of sin (see 1 Peter 4:8). The father would not acknowledge the son’s sin because it didn’t even matter.
You ask, “How can you say that?” In our legalistic mindset, we often believe that it is necessary to point out the wrong, to discuss it, to dwell on it – even if just for a moment. This is man’s way. But God’s ways are higher. Under grace, because Christ became sin for us and paid the penalty for sin, God is free to forgive sin. He is so free infact, that because of this act of grace by Christ, he proclaims multiple times throughout scripture, “I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more” (see Exodus 34:6-7; Numbers 14:18; Psalm 86:5; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 145:8; Isaiah 43:25; Nehemiah 9:3; Hebrews 8:12. Hebrews 10:17).
When it comes to the father’s love and the grace which is uninhibitedly poured out upon us because of it, there is no amount of sin too great that grace cannot overcome. Nothing we have done or could ever do can “out do” grace.
Love covers sin, grace delivers us from the power of sin, and faith in God’s love and grace enable us to walk out from sin. This is pictured in the robe that covered, the ring that was placed, and the sandals that were put on the son by the father.
My friend, our Father has put the best robe—the robe of righteousness—on us. In doing so, He has reinstated us as sons of the Most High God, a position which we had lost when Adam fell.
The father was in a hurry to put a ring on his son’s hand. Like the authority that is invested in the signet ring of a rich man’s son, our Father is eager to put back into our hands the authority to invoke His name, so that we can walk in dominion every day.
The father was in a hurry to put sandals on his son’s feet to assure him that he was still his son—only servants went about barefoot. Our Father never wants us to feel like hired servants or outcasts. We are always His sons.
Beloved, if the Father appears to be in a hurry, it is only because He is in a hurry to assure you of your position as His precious child!
He loves you, more than you know. Will you let Him love you?