When his son returned, the father saw him while he was still a long way off and he was moved with tenderness and compassion. The father ran to him, embraced him and kissed him.
It is interesting to note that the father did five things. The spiritual significance of five is seen as grace. Through seeing him from afar, being moved with compassion, running to him, embracing and kissing him – he gave his son grace!
But with our Father, grace never stops there. The pity is that some children of God come back to the Father but they never accept the next level of grace.
“22But the father said to his bond servants, bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet.
23And bring out that [wheat-] fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry..”
After the father did five things, he gave five things to the son! A robe, restoring his dignity and honor. A ring, restoring his authority. Sandals to step into his sonship (in those days slaves did not wear shoes). A fattened calf, letting blood flow for the sacrifice and a feast to celebrate the restoration of the son.
Do you as a Christian sometimes feel you have no dignity? Do you struggle with the knowledge that you have authority as a child of God? If you enter into His presence, you feel that you need to pay Him back for His goodness. You are actually barefoot in the spirit and have not fully accepted the blood of the Jesus Christ, or experienced the joy in your heart that you are fully restored as a son or daughter of the Father!
You see, you can be a Christian that returned home, but still act like a slave. Receive the next level of grace. Accept the robe of righteousness that gives you dignity and honor as His child. Let Him put the ring on your finger that gives you authority to trample on the evil one. Put on the sandals and know you are no longer a slave in the house, but a child! Now you know you have not only accepted Jesus’ gift to come home to the Father, but you’ve also accepted the next level of grace where God wants to fully restore you as child of the Father!