In Luke 11, we see three different parables concerning the lost:
- In the first parable, Christ illustrates what happens when people are lost outside of the house.
- In the second parable, He shows what happens when people are lost in the house.
- In the third parable, He teaches how God responds when people are lost and come back to the house.
The Heart of a Father (Luke 15:11-32)
1) The Father’s heart is willing to give up His life for the one that leaves the house. (v. 12)
The idea of a son asking for his inheritance while the father is alive is the ultimate sign of disrespect. Yet the father was willing to give of his livelihood because the son asked.
2) The Father’s heart continues to seek the return of the one that’s left the house. (v. 20)
The father was continually anticipating the return that has left.
3) The Father continues to give immediate and complete acceptance to the one who returns to the house. (v. 20-24)
The father never acknowledges what the son is saying, because if you are a son, you can never be a servant. Even if you leave and come back after knowing God, you will still be a son.
How does the Father confirm his acceptance?
In verse 22 He says to:
Bring out the best robe and put it on him…
The robe indicates dignity. In the Jewish culture, an elder would not normally run, because he would have to lift his robe. He would not become undignified by lifting up his “dignity” and showing his humanity.
Notice that the robe was ready even when the son was not. Meaning, this is the dignity that has already been assigned to him. Go get what I’ve already established for him and put it on him because I want to restore his dignity.
b) Put a ring on his finger…
The ring establishes identity. The family ring was the signet of identity. The Father wanted to ensure that he knew who and whose he was.
c) And [put] sandals on his feet.
He’s been walking in situations and circumstances that are no longer apart of his life. He will not be bringing the hog-pen to the house.
4) He encourages reconciliation with those who stayed in the house. (v. 28)
“My prayer is that we will begin to have a heart to receive those who left the house and come back.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson