Once again, I find myself thinking about the parable of the prodigal son. After coming to his senses, or as the ETRV says, “The son realized that he had been very foolish” (Luke 15:17), he made a decision. You remember the choice; it was to return to his father with the mindset that “I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:19). One commentator writes, “A hired servant, who could be dismissed at a moment’s notice, was not even as well off as a slave.” What is unexpected is the response he receives from the father. The father has “the best robe” put on him, “a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet” (Luke 15:22). Of all of these, the one that catches my attention is the sandals. Why? Because this was the mark of a freedman. “No slave here, “ says the father, “This is my son!”
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us,
that we should be called children of God!
1st John 3:1
If we are all honest about things, we should be able to relate to the young son who brazenly left his father to go own journey, only to find himself completely humiliated. Just this past week, in our study on Titus, we read these words, “For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” (Titus 3:3). We have been there! Even so, God’s love was provided to us. Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This love the Father has “bestowed on us”; that is, “he has given it to us in such a way that it is an abiding fact of our lives” (J. W. Roberts). That proof is in the confident understanding that through His love, He has made us His children! Isn’t that part of the message the father wanted the son to realize upon his return?
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son,
born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those who were under
the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Sonship! Because of the sufficient work of Christ on the cross, the fullest expression of the Father’s love for sinful man, we can confidently know we are His children! A renewed relationship that puts the past behind us and invites us to cry out to Him, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6). Not only that, but because we are now His children, we are “heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17). Knowing we are God’s children, brings us back to the prodigal son, for when he departed from the father, it was then that he lost everything. It was upon his return that the love of the father gave it all back to him. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God” )1st John 3:1). Thank You, heavenly Father, for your love that enabled sinful man to be once again called Your son