The prodigal son of Luke 15 is well known among Bible students, but what about the prodigal’s father?
There are, however, some great lessons provided by the prodigal’s dad.
- The prodigal’s father was not required to give his younger son his third of the inheritance, but he did anyway. Doesn’t this tell us something about our Heavenly Father?
- When the prodigal returned, his father kissed him again and again (15:20), the perfective use of katephilēsen.
- The prodigal’s dad was ready to forgive his son and fully restore him.
- He had the BEST robe put on him.
- He instructed to bring “the ring” and put it on him. Lockyer, in his “All the Parables of the Bible,” says this ring was probably a signet designating a familial relationship. The prodigal probably cast this ring off his finger when he left, but the Father restored it.
- Dad put shoes on his son’s feet. In the east, slaves did not wear shoes. Only members of the family did.
- The Father launched a celebration because his son, who was dead is now alive. He was lost but now is found.
- In fact, when one examines the context of the passage, rejoicing is key to our understanding. There is rejoicing in heaven when a sinner repents (V7-10.).
The prodigal took his father’s love for granted, just as we often do our Heavenly Father’s love, but the father’s love is always there, always available, always full and free.
My Lord, I have no clothes to come to thee;
My shoes are pierced and broken by the road.
I am torn and weathered, wounded by the goad,
And soiled with tugging at my weary load
And MORE I NEED THEE, for I am very prodigal. —McDonald.