BRINGING OUT THE BEST–A Robe, A Ring, and Other Things!
In the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, Jesus taught some revealing lessons about the nature of God. One of the things that Jesus did for us is to reveal to us what God is like. One of the ways He did this is by telling earthly stories with deep, spiritual meanings. That is what he did in this parable. One thing this parable teaches us is what God thinks of sinners who come to him. He “runs” out to meet them, and then he “brings out the best” for them and changes them for the better. When the Prodigal came home “the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry” (Lk. 15:22-23). A robe, a ring, and other things.The father “brought out the best” for a son that was unholy, unworthy, and undeserving. And God has done the same for us. Think about it:
HE BRINGS OUT THE BEST TO US –God gives us everything we have. “Life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). He “gives us richly all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). He gives us “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17). We owe God for every aspect of our existence. But the greatest gift He ever gave was the “best” gift: His Son. The best gift of all was given when God sent his Son to die for us. “Unto us a…son is given” (Isa. 9:6). This was Isaiah’s way of presenting the truth found in the Bible’s most familiar verse: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16). He brought out the best of heaven and sent Him to us. God came running to us in the Person of His Son. He brought out the best to us.
HE BRINGS OUT THE BEST FOR US – Because God brought out the best to us, He also brings out the best for us. The Prodigal Son was dressed in a robe and blessed with a ring. He had a garment and an ornament. The father did for the Prodigal what the Prodigal could not do for himself. He extended forgiveness, freely and fully. There was no interrogation, no investigation, and no aggravation. He needed no explanation. All he needed to know was that his boy came home. This illustrates how God accepts us where we are when we come to him. It does not matter how horrible the sins, how many the “hog pens” or how long it has been. He is always ready to run to forgive us and favor us with His presence, pardon, provision, and peace. All I have to do is come “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me”. Christ “became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (I Cor. 1:30). He brings out the best for us…wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
HE BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN US – The Prodigal had a robe and ring and a heart made to sing. The Bible says that “they began to be merry” (Lk. 15:24). He had a garment and an ornament to help him forget about his past predicament. The Prodigal was given a new life. He was dressed and blessed and ready to do his best. The same is true with us. God brought out the best to us and He brought out the best for us, so that He could bring out the best in us. It is God who works in us “both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). He is “working in” us “what is well pleasing in His sight” (Heb. 13:20). We are “being transformed” by the “Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18).
The Prodigal was blessed because his father brought out the best to him (the father’s presence). The Prodigal was blessed because his father brought out the best for him (the father’s provision). The Prodigal was blessed because his father brought out the best in him (the father’s peace). And He brings out the best in us.
With these thoughts in mind, read Isaiah 61:10 which says: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Note: He is “my God” because He has brought the best to us (His presence). He has “clothed me with garments of salvation” and “a robe of righteousness” because He has brought out the best for us (His provision). Therefore: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices” because He brings out the best in us (His peace).
How Great is our God?
Mercy received the prodigal son back home …grace rewarded him for coming home. Mercy provided the pardon…grace provided a party. Because of mercy he did not receive what he deserved…because of grace he got what he did not deserve. Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).