PARABLEOF THE PRODIGAL SON
RING AND SANDALS
Ring was symbolic of sharing father’s authority. The signet ring was like an official seal or credit card of the modern times. It was to sign documents and give assurance for any credit that the father would pay.
When Pharaoh made Joseph his prime minister, he gave a ring as a sign of sharing his authority in the palace. “And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck” (Gen 41:42). The prodigal son was honored and empowered similarly.
Sandals were symbol of family membership and authority. Others, like servants and slaves, had no permission to wear sandals.
Through this parable and regaining of the authority of the repentant son, Jesus expressed the gain we will have if we repent and reconcile with God. Keeping away from God and disobeying him would destroy our souls and afterlife.