Parable of the Prodigal Son.

October 9, 2020 Preacher: Pedro Samuel Series: The Parables of Jesus

Topic: The Gospel, Christian Living Scripture: Luke 15:11–32

The parable of the prodigal son is like a mirror. At first it just seems like an interesting and touching story. But the more you look, the more you begin to see your own heart either in the prodigal or in his older brother, or in both.

But the Bible not only reveals what we are like, it also reveals what God is like. This is important, because we cannot know what God is like apart from His revealing Himself to us. We can speculate on what we think God is like, but such speculations don’t mean anything, because they are just our opinions, not based in fact. Jesus Christ reveals to us what God the Father is truly like. While it is not a comprehensive picture, the father of the prodigal son gives us an important aspect of God’s character, namely, His abundant mercy toward all who will repent of their sins.

The emphasis in the parable of the prodigal son is on God’s great love and mercy, but also on the necessary human response to experience His mercy, namely, repentance. Each of the three main characters reflects different lessons. The prodigal shows us the devastating effects of sin and the nature of true repentance. The father shows us God’s great mercy toward repentant sinners. The older brother shows us the ugliness and danger of the self-righteous pride that lurks in every human heart. The entire parable teaches us that God welcomes repentant sinners with abundant mercy, but the self-righteous exclude themselves from His mercy.

Discussion Questions

  1. Someone could perhaps argue that it’s better to be like the prodigal and sow some wild oats than to be like the older brother. How would you respond to this biblically?
  2. Is a person who repents, but keeps going back into sin, truly repentant? How can we help such a person?
  3. Is God’s grace fair? Why/why not? What implications does this have for us in the Christian life?
  4. Some say that if you emphasize grace too much, it will lead to licentiousness. Is this true? Can we emphasize grace too much?

More in The Parables of Jesus

November 27, 2020

Parable of the Wicked Tenants.

November 20, 2020

The Parable of the Ten Minas.

November 13, 2020

The Reason for the Parable.