Luke 15:21-22 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “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.
Oh man, I blew it again. I can’t believe it. Will God really forgive me? I don’t feel like I deserve it. Have you ever been in this situation? No? Okay, check your pulse for me, I’ll wait… I think it’s safe to say we can all identify with those thoughts. We’ve all made mistakes and at some point feel unworthy. What is God’s response to that? What is His response to our sin?
Forgiveness. What we see in verse 21 is a repentant heart. We see a young man who completely messed up and he knew it. His only option was to come back to his father and admit he was wrong. He had to confess his sin. He even expressed that he didn’t expect to be a son anymore. Rather, he recognized his unworthiness. But the father did something remarkable – he put a clean robe on him. It was his best robe, too. The father covered his filthiness. He covered his mistakes and forgave him. By putting the robe on him, he was symbolically saying that the son was made clean. (Yes it is symbolic, this is a parable).
Secondly, the father put a ring on the son’s finger. A ring is a symbol of dignity. By putting the ring on his finger, he was telling him that he was restoring his dignity. He was removing the shame of his mistake. Third, he put sandals on the son’s feet. Now you must know that the boy had plans to come back and be a servant. Typically in those times, the servants didn’t have sandals. They weren’t given to them. Money spent on shoes was for the family, not for the slaves. So by putting sandals on his feet, he was telling him, “I restore you as my son.”
It’s a remarkable parable, really. Leave it to Jesus to be a good story teller. In it, Jesus reveals the Father’s heart. When we mess up, we can come to Him with a humble heart and confess to Him. Do you know what He will do? He will cover our filthiness and make us clean. He will take away our shame and restore our dignity. And He we remind us that we are sons and daughters. He is a God of restoration and healing. If you are still wondering and wandering, go home today. Just go home. He’s waiting on the road, ready to receive you.