Lk.15:22-24 – Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy.
If you had to rate the parables of Jesus, this one would have to be at the top of the list. Jesus gives us a look into the heart of the Father in the way that He loves and blesses His wayward son. One of the shocking gifts the Father gave His son was the ring. This ring is a picture of belonging to a family, the authority of the Father, and the promise of the life to come. Matthew Henry followed by the Passion Notes give a glimpse into the meaning of the ring.
“The earnest of the Spirit, by whom we are sealed to the day of redemption, is the ring on the hand. After you believed you were sealed. They that are sanctified are adorned and dignified, are put in power, as Joseph was by Pharaoh’s giving him a ring: “Put a ring on his hand, to be before him a constant memorial of his father’s kindness, that he may never forget it.”
“Culturally, this ring was an emblem of authority, giving the son authority to transact business in the father’s name. This was a picture of the seal of the Holy Spirit.”
This wayward son is welcomed back into the community that he ran from. He is part of the Father’s family, and nothing can change that. He had been wasting his wealth and his life with the community of the world. Once his money was gone suddenly he was all alone, except for the pigs. He was actually better off with pigs than the worldly friends. Now he was welcomed back to his family; this is exactly what the Lord has done for us. This ring also pictures the Father’s authority. Everywhere this son went he represents the father, and carries the Father’s authority. Best of all, this ring is a taste of the promised life to come. It pictures the Holy Spirit Who comes upon each of us. The baptism with the Spirit is a foretaste and a promise of the blessed life to come. So wear this family ring unashamedly. We belong to the family of God.