Tuesday’s Truth is a free weekly devotional shared by Rev. Gary Mimbs
December 8, 2020
Fatted Calf Level OF Grace
I have read the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke chapter 15 many times and have even preached my fair share of sermons on it. I am always amazed at how “alive” the Word of God is in that every time that you read even familiar verses from it you see something new. As I read this passage again I saw the part about the “fatted calf” being given as a present to celebrate the return of the wayward son.
The Father in the story gave the gifts of a nice robe to replace the rags the prodigal son was wearing. This represents the robe of righteousness that God has prepared for us when we turn to Him. The Father also had the servants put a ring on the prodigal’s finger. This would have been a ring with the family crest or seal on it. It showed the son to be in good standing in the family and it was like a modern day credit card in that the son could use it to purchase whatever he needed. The shoes that he received showed that he was a member of the family as only servants were the ones who did not wear shoes.
But then Jesus in telling this story throws in that the Father ordered the servants to “Kill the fatted calf so that they could eat and be merry”. The calf had been being fattened in the pen in anticipation of a celebration of some kind. The older son in his remarks to his father thought that it might be for something that he had done. He watched the calf being fattened and thought to himself that his father would certainly kill it most any day to honor him and all that he had done.
But the Father was saving the calf to celebrate the return of the younger wayward son. I am sure that he had prayed every day for God to get his son’s attention and to return him home to the family. He had faith that God was hearing his prayers and so every day he had the servants fatten the calf a little more. Every day the Father looked down that long dusty road waiting to see the younger son come back home.
And then when the son did come back the Father poured out the gift of grace and mercy to the highest level. He didn’t make the younger son gravel or beg. He didn’t give him the leftovers. NO! He gave him the fatted calf. The best calf in the herd. He poured out the gift of grace on the (Now) former prodigal son to show him that he was forgiven and totally restored to the family as if he had never left. The Father celebrated the return and forgot about the sin and shame that it had caused.
What a beautiful picture of God as our Father and what He wants to do for us wayward souls if we will just turn (Or return) to Him. His love, grace, and mercy are larger than we can imagine and cover more sin than we can ever commit. He has been preparing “grace” gifts for us. All that we have to do is do what the prodigal did in verse 17 –“And when he came to his senses …” and our Father will pour out these grace gifts on us all the way to the fatted calf level. He will give us a fresh start with the past totally forgiven and forgotten.
In love with Jesus – Gary Mimbs