No, not the ones you would normally think of this time of the year: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Recently, I have been studying the wonderful story of “The Prodigal Son”. You are already familiar with the story Jesus told in Luke 15. When the father’s son returns home we note verses 20-22 – “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 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:”

Verse 22 indicates that the father gave his returning son three gifts: a robe, a ring, and sandals. These three gifts have implications for every one of us.

Sandals—The Gift of Sonship

Hired servants generally went without sandals, walking in their bare feet. Sons wore sandals. The father could have made his son work off the cost of the new shoes, but his gift was an extravagant expression of his love and forgiveness of his son. Christians are fully accepted as God’s sons and daughters. When Jesus came to earth as a baby, His mission was to declare war on Satan’s kingdom and bring into the family of God those who had been taken captive: “For God so loved the world…” Coming to the Father in repentance brought us tremendous blessings of forgiveness and the gift of sonship.

Robe – The Gift of Honor

The robe was an even higher honor than the sandals. It would have been made of the highest quality fabric and craftsmanship. Every head of a well-to-do family in the first century owned a special robe like that. The words “best robe” literally means “first-ranking garment.” This is an honor that is reserved for a visiting dignitary. Even a son would not likely be the recipient of such a fine robe. This gift was an expression of public honor. When Jesus Christ came to this world He took on the form of a servant so that we might be on display as the trophies of the Father’s marvelous grace. We are not just honored by God, but in Christ we are greatly honored.

Ring—The Gift of Authority

A ring like this would have had the family crest or seal on the top. It was pressed into melted wax on a formal document, serving as legal authentication. The owner of such a ring would have had the authority to represent the entire household. This is a position of privilege. The father is declaring publically that his son has his full support and authority and is expected to act in accordance to what his father would want carried out. Once we were redeemed we were sealed by the Holy Spirit. What a tremendous Gift we have been given in Him!

In all three of these gifts we can see Jesus Christ. He truly is the only begotten Son of God. The Lord laid aside His heavenly robe and took on the form of a humbled servant; today He has the highest honor in heaven for His great work in coming “to seek and to save that which was lost.” We read in John 6:27 – “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

This Christmas season may we all find great love, joy, and peace in our relationships within the family of God.