Verse 20 says, the Father ran toward the son and fell on his neck and kissed him; kissed as a token of his love and endearment; a sign of reconciliation and friendship; expressive of the strength of his affection to him. I believe they both wept and embraced each other. In order for the son to weep he had to let go of some things. Such as pride, resentment, rebellion, and stubbornness. These things may have been dealt with in the pigpen, at the lowest point in his life. However, the father’s forgiveness toward his son, and the son forgiving himself was dealt with in the loving embrace of his father.
Remember the prodigal son left home for a reason, whether he had a good reason or not, he felt he did. Whether he felt unloved, misunderstood, or unappreciated, he left with the intention of not returning. He felled into immorality and hardship. His so call friends were not there, when he needed them, they all abandoned him. Unable to provide for himself, stripped of any dignity or self-reliance he remembered his father.
In order to be set free from the pain, and torment you must let go of certain things. There’s an exchange that must take place. You must let go of unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment. Are you willing to be whole in your body and your soul? If so then you must be willing to let go of the betrayal, rejection, let go of the verbal & physical abuse done to you. You must let go of self-condemnation, and guilt. You must forgive others and you must forgive yourself.
Luke 15:22 says "Bring forth the best robe and put it on him." In having the best robe placed on him, the Father was telling the prodigal as well as all observers that his position as son was being restored. There was no proving his faithfulness or sonship neither was there any punishment or demotion. He had learned a valuable lesson through the pain and hardship he had endured. It was an immediate demonstration of complete approval, love and mercy as well as protection - major benefits of being a son.
In addition, everyone was witnessing the Father's transfer of the prime inheritance (birthright) from the eldest son to the youngest son.
Joseph’s coat of many colors hinted to his brothers that Joseph would receive the birthright instead of the eldest son, Ruben. The garment was of many colors, not pieces, marking it as a priestly and royal robe. This robe similar to the prodigal son’s robe was intended as a mark of honor and rank, worn only by a chief and heir (Gen. 37:3).
Jesus had a woven robe, one piece not pieced together, that the Romans cast lot over. Jesus being the first-born, and Joseph being deceased, would have entitled him to the birthright, and robe according to Jewish tradition. This robe was similar to what the high priest wore.
In Luke 15:22 the father demanded the servant to put a ring on his hand. Once again we see this as the father's token of favor, and son ship to the prodigal.
Long ago, presenting a ring to someone was a sign of great affection and also a symbol of being placed in an office of authority; among the rich it was a sign of wealth and dignity.
Pharaoh removed his signet ring and put it on Joseph's hand when installing him into office in Egypt (Genesis 41:42).
“In the book of Esther the King took off his ring, the royal signet by which the decrees of government were signed, and gave it to Mordecai (Esther 8:2). The ring showed Pharaoh's affection for Joseph and the King's affection for Mordecai. This transferred to them all power and authority necessary for the promotions they received, one as Governor and the other as Prime Minister.”
The ring placed on the hand of the Prodigal was evidenced of the great affection the Father had toward him. It also announced, once again, the transfer of inheritance, which would ordinarily have gone to the first-born.
Luke 15:22 "Put shoes on his feet" In ancient biblical times only servants and slaves went barefoot. Therefore, when the Father ordered shoes to be brought out and put on the Prodigal's feet he said for the third and final time that the Prodigal was not to be treated as a servant, but as a son with all entitlements.
Both Moses and Joshua were asked to remove their sandals because the ground they were standing on was holy ground (Exodus 2:5 & Joshua 5:15). The shoes are a form of entitlement and covering, it had to be removed in the presence of God. Why? They were not entitled to stand before God on their own merits. It is only by His grace and mercy that Moses and Joshua could come into God’s presence. They were told to take off their shoes, not anything else. The shoes were not needed before God because He alone is theirs and our covering. He alone is the reason we can come into His presence.
All that the prodigal son received was given to him; he didn’t earn or deserve it. Yet, everyone was witnessing the Father's transfer of the prime inheritance (birthright) from the eldest son to the youngest son. But, what about the eldest son who didn’t leave home or transgress?...To be continued