I read John 15:11-24 this morning as part of my devotional. John 15:11-24 is about the Prodigal son. "ahhh.." you say.. You seem to know this one...you say...
At first I also thought, 'not this story again!' As I've read it plenty times over. Buttttt God does a new thing like always, and gives us new insight in a passage that we would've read over and over and over! Amen and glory to that!! :)
So here it goes!
The passage says:
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “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. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate." (From the New International Version).
I felt like the Lord said that it can be seen from the point of view of being about Jesus, that once upon a time, we went away from the Father (since the beginning in the garden), but we were found again via the blood of Jesus (redeemed, rather!)
Jesus built the bridge that enables us to crossover to go to the Father (God). It is now possible to have the choice to go to back to the Father. Oh how wonderful it that? So wonderful!! So wonderful.
Let's look at the text a bit more closely, and see what it's saying to us:
After squandering everything at this point,the son began to be in need (verse 14).
Have you ever gasped for air? Like in a swimming pool and you want to get back to the top? Or you ran a distance and were out of breath that you needed to stop to catch the next one? That's what I'm guessing the son felt like at this point: in need to breath properly again, without gasping.
Verse 17 says he came to his senses. It finally hit him. It was a heart moment.
It finally clicked.
He had a moment of enlightenment, a moment of humility, all intertwined to make one. It all starts in the head and heart, then slowly shifts towards our facial expression, which changes to that of sorrow, mimicking the inside process. It's a moment of realization, that through it all, we had hurt God, and the people around us.
We see that after this moment, the son decides that he will go back to his Father (verse 18).
He says Father. He acknowledges His Father.
He knows that he can apologize to Mr. & Ms such and such too, but at this point, it's all about God, the Father.
We're reminded of David, who said, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight" Psalm 51:4.
He realizes that it was the Father, all along, who was the beginning and end of life, streams of living water, peace, comfort, and breath. And in abundance.
Verse 18 says that he set out, meaning, he took action.
Then he got up and went to his Father (verse 20).
Yesterday I read a quote that said, "If there were a thousand steps between us and God, He will take all but one. He will leave the final one to us. The decision is ours." (Author Unknown) (it was in the context of running to God as our refuge :) He wants us to take that leap of faith towards Him, knowing that His arms are always wide open, when we choose to come to Him.
Verse 20 says it was to his Father that he went to. Not people. His Father :)
And what did his Father do?
He had compassion (verse 20) on his son, onto his most precious child :) Amen ♡
He even ran to His son (verse 20).
He even threw His arms around him (verse 20).
No, He didn't nonchalantly touch him, even though just a touch from God is greater than anything in this world, but instead He THREW His arms. He THREW them...do you get it? I can't get enough! :) He's like: "my son! You're back! You're back!! Welcome back!! You came back! To me! To me! Your Father! I love You, son...I love you. My son..."
And when you think that that was it,
It says, 'and kissed him' (verse 20).
How wonderful is that?
But then...the Father says 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him." (verse 22).
You see, that verse starts with the word, 'BUT'. I mean...come on, how amazing can He get?
The son goes humbly before the Father to ask for forgiveness, and I can only imagine he's in tears, and in ragged clothes. Since he was feeding the pigs, he probably smells really bad, is very muddy, but could care less to ask for a place to shower because he's running back, as he is, running from a journey of turmoil, leaving it all behind, all in the past, ready to set forth a new path, even if he has to start from the bottom because he knows that his Father's place is much better than anything that's out there.
Just like David said, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked." Psalm 84:10
That sentence begins with 'But'.
'But' means that the son was probably expecting an alternate response. It can only be that reason isn't it? That a moment were it was meant to be a point of shame and condemnation, the Father does everything but. He does that which is contrary to it, to that point that He doesn't waste a minute in saying, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him." (verse 22).
Shout it on the rooftops! The son is back! He's back! Amen! Amen! Hallelujah! He's back Abba, He's back to You!
This is similar to The Parable of the Lost Coin in Luke 15:8-10, which says,
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NIV)
Like this picture, when Jesus sees you, He takes His robe off, and exchanges His for yours.
And the Father wasn't done yet, He says, "Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet" (Verse 20).
A ring on a hand was a mark of wealth and dignity. A ring was seen as a sign of favor, just like in Genesis 41:39-43 (where Pharaoh was speaking to Joseph. You can read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37).
Genesis 41:39-43 says,
"Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my place., and all my people are to submit to your orders...."I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck."
We also see this in Esther 8:2, where "The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai."
To 'present' something is to give something to someone officially or formally.
He didn't fling it. No.
He gratefully presented it. Honorably, and respectfully.
A signet ring looks like this:
In Haggai 2:20, The Lord tells Zerubbabel (the governor of Judah) that He will make him like His signet ring, because He had chosen him.
We now see this great significance our Father puts on His children.
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9
In Luke 15: 23, the Father gives orders to bring the fattened calf and to have it killed. He says, "Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found."
So they began to celebrate (Verse 23-24).
Son, daughter, God has chosen you too. You are His.
Begin to Celebrate.
Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,