“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be fully prepared.” Ephesians 6:15 NLT

In the story of The Prodigal Son 139 as found in Luke 15:11-32, the father welcomes the son with a hug and an embrace. He completely disregards the son’s plea to be made a servant. Instead he orders ‘the finest robe in the house’ to be brought and put on the son. He orders a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet.

What is the significance of these items?


We must note that the son most likely returned home in rags. If he had become as destitute as the story suggests we can well imagine that his return home would have been in humiliation and shame, in rags and tatters, in dust and stain. The robe, ordered by the Father and put on him, would cover him, would cover these things. The robe was an act of love and of compassion. The robe declared on behalf of the father,“I restore you to your former glory.” With the robe the father restored dignity to his son.

The Father, our Heavenly Father, Father God, does the same with us. It is the same image as that of Lord God coming toward Adam and Eve after they had sinned. Even though there had been deep betrayal by them towards God, God comes near and comes toward them.

“When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:8-9 NLT

A little further we read,

“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.” Genesis 3:21

God, who had created everything and declared it ‘good’, killed an animal that Adam and Eve might be covered. It is the same act of compassion that we see Jesus describing in this story of the father and the prodigal son.

God restores us.

This is the gospel message. It is the gospel invitation. This is the good news.


Rings often signify authority. Traditionally through the centuries, kings would have a ring called a signet ring. The use of this ring would have been accompanied by great authority. For instance. The king might write a letter to a neighbouring country or dominion. To seal the letter it would be folded and then wax would be dripped on the seam of the paper. Into the wax, before it was set, the king’s ring would be pressed. In this way, official letters were marked by the sign of the king and recognized as from the king himself.

The ring carried the authority of the king. The ring signified the ‘say’ of the king. Whatever was in that letter (or law or instruction or declaration) was noted as from the king himself.

But the king was not the only one who used the ring. The king would set co-regents or head secretaries who were trusted by the king to carry on the king’s business. These ones would carry on the business of the kingdom and would mark letters with the signet ring of the king. These ones knew the heart of the king, the priorities of the king, and were therefore trusted to use the signet ring of the king. These ones walked with the authority of the king.

Now, in an earthly common way the father, getting a ring for his son, would have indicated something similar. The son was restored back to the family and all the authority that this meant. The son was restored to having a ‘say’ in things. The son could once more speak on behalf of the father.

And so it is with us. But even more so. The Bible tells us that we as the body of Christ are seated with Jesus at the right hand of the Father.

You and I have been covered over with the robe of God, restored back as sons and daughters with all that this means in this world and beyond. We now speak for The Father, for we know him intimately. We have seen his heart. We know his priorities and he trusts us to enact and increase His Kingdom on this earth.


The father also orders sandals for the feet of his son. I wonder if in the simplest kind of way this was the kindness of the father to care for his son, as though saying, “Let me minister to you this day, my son.”

But of course, the Lord speaks quite a few times in scripture about the feet of his people. As noted,

“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the good news so that you will be fully prepared.” Ephesians 6:15 NLT


“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” Isaiah 52:7 NLT

It is interesting to note that peace is the primary description of one who comes with the gospel. Our feet are described as agents of peace, indicating that where we go, we bring peace with us. This is the command, this is the jurisdiction, this is the authority that we carry.

Look up these verses and the passages around them:

“I will make a covenant of peace with my people …” Ezekiel 34:25a NLT

“Now may the God of peace …” Hebrews 13:20a NLT

“ … so love truth and peace.” Zechariah 8:19b NLT

“… you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand.” Philippians 4:7a NLT

We must understand this priority for peace, that is the heart of our Father,

“For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT

Realizing that the fruit of God looks like this,

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 NLT

Then, as the Psalmist, as the son, as each of us, and many more, are to testify,

“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:2-3 NLT

And we read,

“They have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony.” Revelation 12:11a NLT

We come into the love of God. We know that he is for us. We come in agreement with the heart of the Father, first for ourselves and then for others. Then, with hearts of sulha to a dying and despairing world we live hope and compassion in the land. We shun evil and violence and spiritual abuse, refusing to participate in these things. We come into the Spirit of God through us, as agents of peace, salt, and light.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12a NLT
We know that, “His life brought light to everyone.” John 1:4b NLT
Then he said to us, “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14a NLT

Then we read, “The Spirit of God who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, lives in you.” Romans 8:11a

We therefore, build a life, becoming people of God turned to Jesus, breathing in the Spirit of God daily, settled into the presence of God, knowing we are forgiven and deeply loved, and then we live God to a chaotic, desperate, world.

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.” Psalm 24:3-4 ESV

We choose restoration over retribution. We equip the body of Christ, raising them to do greater works than we ourselves will do. We love deeply. We show up and we become part of the solution to this world, our nations, and our communities. We lead forward in repentance and humility. We help to unbind the world from sin and death. By our love the world will know that we belong to God.

“May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, aswedoforyou,sothathe may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”1Thessalonians3:12-13 ESV

“(May) Christ dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19 ESV

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21 ESV

be blessed, Cyndy

139 I am convinced that this story has been mis-named. It is not a story about a prodigal son, the prodigal son is simply the context by which we see the character and heart of The Father. It is a story about a father with extravagant love and expansive understanding and profound forgiveness. More accurately named: The Story of Father God.