Hi everyone, my name is Matthew Bell, I am a Christian entrepreneur, author, and speaker. And I am also a part of the GOD TV Digital Media Team. I want to welcome you to God Today.
I want to start by sharing a Bible verse with you from Luke 15. It is one of my favorite stories of all time, about the Prodigal Son. “When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him.”
Now, you have likely heard the parable of The Prodigal Son as told by Jesus. The son of a wealthy man demands his inheritance to be given to him at an early age, from his father. He runs off and squanders it partying. He ends up destitute with nowhere to go. He decides to return home and plead with his father to allow him to be one of his father’s servants. A life that will surely be better than where he has ended up.
Well, as his father sees him off in the distance, as he is returning home. He runs to him, and he embraces his son. The father did not even think about the lost inheritance or the sinfulness of his son’s behavior. The father only saw one thing. His son. He embraced his son. And he welcomed him right back into his life, through a joyous celebration.
There are two significant details that Jesus intentionally includes in this parable. I want you to grab hold of both of them because they are really powerful. The first is that the father ran to his son. The second is that the father put the family ring on his son’s finger.
As with stories in the Bible, it is very important to understand the context of the time that the story is being told. In the first century, a Middle Eastern man never ran. His garments were too long, and He would have to pick them up in order to run without tripping. Doing so would have exposed his bare legs and that was considered a shameful act for a man to show his bare legs at that time. It is all part of the context of history. You have to understand what the story is telling with the context.
Furthermore, the family ring also known as the signet ring was much more than a piece of jewelry. The engraving on the ring was actually used in sealing and authenticating documents for the purposes of conducting business. It was used in conducting financial transactions, and business dealings. It would be the same as a father giving his son access to the business checking account today. That is how powerful these symbols are that Jesus used.
So, what is Jesus actually illustrating through this parable? The son, who squandered his inheritance, sinned against his father and his family, and ended up in a destitute state, was immediately welcomed back into his family by the father. Not only was he welcomed back, but the father was so overjoyed to see his son that he risked public shame, and ran to embrace him. As an even greater display of the father’s love and acceptance of his son, he put the family ring back on his finger. Essentially, he gave the son full access to the family’s wealth again. The father did not see a sinful boy who squandered what was given to him. The father only saw his son whom he loved.
As you go through life, it is very important to leave your mistakes behind you. If you step out to start a business, or try something new, or pursue your dreams, it is likely you will stumble and make mistakes along the way. That is called life. Life is a continual learning experience. Don’t let the mistakes you make or have made in the past become your identity. Your Heavenly Father sees you as His son or as His daughter without spot or blemish. He is well-pleased with you. I want to pray for you today.
Heavenly Father, show them what it means to be your son or daughter, whom you fully love without condition or judgment. Show them what it means to be loved perfectly as your child, no matter what they may have done in the past. You love them because they are yours. In Jesus’ name, we pray. I hope you have a blessed and wonderful day. Come back to God Today…tomorrow.