THE LOVING FATHER
I. Background of the Parable
a. The sinners drew near to Jesus and the Pharisees complained, Lk 15:1-2.
b. Jesus used two parables to teach about the value of the lost who are found,: -9, the lost sheep and the lost coin.
c. Jesus says there is joy in heaven over sinners who repent, :10.
2. Definitions/Cultural Insights
a. Prodigal: wild, wasteful, riotous, :13.
b. Famine: shortage of food, probably because of drought, :14.
c. Pods: seed pods of the Carob tree, :16.
d.. Hired servant: hired man contrasted with a son, :19.
e. Fattened calf: young ox fed specially for serving at a celebration feast, :3.
II. Understanding the Parable
1. The setting…a man of substance has two sons.
a. The younger son demands his inheritance, :12.
b. The father divides the inheritance between the two sons, :12.
c. The younger son leaves his father and goes his own way, :13.
2. The parable shows the result of separation from the father.
a. The son wastes his resources in sinful living, :13.
b. He finds himself in a hopeless condition, :14-16.
3. Jesus showed… difficult circumstances bring repentance.
a. The son realized his lost condition, :17.
b. He remembered the blessings of his father’s household, :17.
c. He decided to put himself at his father’s mercy, :18-19.
4. Jesus taught… the fruit of repentance.
a. The son decided to return to his father, :20.
confessed his unworthiness, :21.
5. The love of the father.
a. The father was waiting, looking and saw him coming, :20.
b. The father received him with great joy and celebration, :20-24.
6. Reaction of the elder brother.
a. The elder brother was jealous of his father’s affection, and kept looking at the unworthiness of his
younger brother, :28-30.
b, The father reminded the elder son of all the blessings he received from being always with his father, :31.
c. The father reminded him that the younger son was his brother, and that he was lost, and is found, therefore
it is right to rejoice, :32.
III. Consideration and Application of the Parable
1.God’s Unconditional Love!!
The father loved both the faithful (jealous) older son and the rebellious (repentant) younger son. He rejoiced
because of the return of the younger son, who had been lost from his family, and was now found, who had be
dead in sin, but had now repented and returned to his father, Lk 15:7, 32. Such is God’s love. Can you be happy
for the way God blesses and loves others, or do you think of yourself and what you deserve first?
2. God’s Love… for the lost
God looks with great compassion on the lost, and wants them to repent and return to him, Lk 15:20; Mt 15:32; 2 Pet 3:9.
As the father, God will wait, watch and ultimately forgive the repentant. Will you have the same heart? Will you act like
Jesus and seek the lost, Lk 19:10?
3. God’s Love… never failing
God will not fail to receive His children, if we repent and turn to Him. Rom 8:27-35, 1 Jn 1:5-10. Will you continue to have
a repentant spirit, 2 Cor 7:9-11?
4. God’s Love… or counterfeit love
Initially the son settled for a fake love, the love of friends when you have money. Why do people waste their lives on
cheap love, i.e. sex, money, and power? How have these counterfeit types of love hurt or destroyed people you know,
1 Jn 2:15-17; Js 1:12-22?
IV. Memory Verses - Lk 15:31-32