The Debt

I know the parable of the lost son in Luke Chapter 15 very well and how Jesus is telling us about His own Father, how He forgives and restores us when we make a personal choice to come back to Him after sinning. I’m sure we are all very thankful for that. But when I was reading it again recently, I started to think about the consequences of the son’s sin. And I saw something new in the story.

The boy had asked the father for his share of the estate, probably quite a large sum, which he had frittered away in a far-off country. I believe the father’s resources must have been depleted as a consequence. So, who took care of any debts incurred? It must have been the father who bore the full consequences of any financial loss. It would have been his bank account which took a hit, as the son’s pockets were now completely empty.

The father asked the servants to immediately put a ring on the son’s finger. The father’s ring meant that the son could now buy goods. The merchant selling the goods would press the family ring into the sealing wax on the invoice, which meant that his father would have to pay the price of the goods he purchased. So, the father was immediately trusting the son in the very area where he had proven himself to be untrustworthy, that is in the area of money.

It is easy to read this parable and understand the full forgiveness and restoration to sonship that is ours, but just think. God our Father takes on the consequences of our sin too, so that we can walk free. And he trusts us again. What a fantastic gospel!

Prayer: Thank You, Father, that, like the son in this parable, I have come and confessed my sins to You and know Your forgiveness and restoration. Help me today to realise that my debt and the consequences of my sin were dealt with in the finished work of Jesus on the cross, so I can go free. Help me to fully enter into the freedom that only You can give. I am truly thankful. Amen.


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The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let`s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.
Luke 15:21-24, NIV


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Today's Writer

Jill Southern is the founder of Ellel Ministries Pierrepont and directed the work for 21 years. She has recently stood down from that role but still teaches on the NETS programme and has the passion to train and equip God`s people to fully walk in their destiny and calling. She is the Regional Director for Ellel Ministries International in South East Asia and China and is also on the Executive Leadership of the ministry.

Jill Southern

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