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Ring and Sandals to the Prodigal Son


The signet ring was like an official seal or credit card of the modern times. Its purpose was to sign documents and give assurance for any credit that the owner of the ring would pay. Handing over the signet ring to another person was a sign of trust and sharing of authority.

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).

When the prodigal son reconciled with his father, the father honored him by handing over his signet ring, thus accepted him as one having authority in the family.

The father gave sandals to the son, which also symbolized family membership and authority. Others, like servants and slaves, could not wear sandals (Lk 15:22).


We are like the Prodigal Son in the parable Jesus taught. Unlike the brother of the parable, Jesus, our elder brother, came in search of us, recovered us from damnation, and resumed our citizenship in heaven (Phil 3:20). Jesus shared his authority with us to have the privilege to call God, Father, and to share in his three-fold authority of royal priesthood, servant leadership, and prophetic role. Privilege demands responsibility to implement them in our lives.

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