But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
What had prompted the son’s humble return to his father was a desperate hunger. He had wasted all he had, then a famine arose, and he ended up feeding pigs, but he had nothing for himself. And in this moment of complete desperation and need, when there was no other to have pity upon him, he comes to the realization that no one ever lacked a thing in his father’s house. He realized there was somewhere he could go to avoid starving to death in that pigpen.
So when he returned, he was hoping just for some bread to take away his hunger, but his father, out of love and joy, gave him an abundance he could have never imagined. Was he worthy of such a thing? Not really. Had he earned these rewards by his behavior? Not at all. But the father loves him so much and is so glad to have his son restored unto him that he can’t help but lavish him with all of these special things.
Our Father, too, is one of abundance. His grace is abundant, more than enough for every sin. His blessings are abundant, more than enough for every need. His love is abundant, enough to send His Son to die for us. And the life He gives is abundant, more than we could ask or think and certainly more than we would deserve or warrant. But it is what He chooses to freely give to those who forsake their sin and come home to Him. We are not worthy of these things, but they are reflections of our Father’s great love for us and His joy in being reconciled to His children. So whatever our own emptiness or desperation that drives us to God in the first place, may we rest assured of His goodness and His love for those who humbly seek Him.