Notes: November 8, 2009

The Lost Son

Often called the Parable of the Prodigal Son, this story teaches about much more than wayward children.

Luke 15:11-32
I. The Giving Father (v. 11-12)

  • The younger son’s request/demand
  • The custom of apportionment: 2 shares to the eldest, 1 share to others.
  • The division of the estate was made to both sons–though it seems that the elder did not take exclusive possession of his share at the time.

II. The Lost Son (v. 13-16)

  • Expensive, riotous living
  • Famine–the hand of God at work
  • Economic catastrophe for the younger son.
  • Forced to find gainful employment
  • Don’t muzzle the ox that treads out the gain–in reverse!

III. The Repentant Son (v. 17-19)

  • He came to himself; he came to his senses.
  • My father treats his servants a lot better than this.
  • Determined to return with “tail between his legs.”
  • Willing to beg his father for a job.

IV. The Forgiving Father (v. 20-24)

  • Looking for and running to meet the returning son.
  • Stopping the boy before he could beg for a job.
  • A robe, a ring, shoes and steak–the father’s idea of a welcome home party.
  • He’s alive; he has been found.

V. The Other Lost Son (v. 25-32)

  • The elder brother returned from working in the field, and he found the party in full motion.
  • Upon learning the occasion, in anger he refused to go inside to celebrate.
  • The giving, gracious father came outside to urge the elder brother to come inside.
  • Defending his actions and his anger, he points out his own faithfulness to the father and the father’s neglect of ever making such a party for him.
  • He also is upset that the wasteful, sinful son has been restored to favor.
  • The father’s only concern, and great joy, was that the younger son was as dead, but he was alive again; he was lost, but now is found.

Meditation Points:

  1. Would you fault the father for being indulgent?
  2. Would you fault the father for his forgiveness?
  3. Would you fault the father for his extravagance?