Lesson: Prodigal Son
The parable of the lost son (a.k.a. the prodigal son) is one of the
most complete, detailed, and explicit parables of Jesus. It
the secret of our salvation and God's attitude and expectations for the
* robe of the Father - (1) redemption,
(e.g., white robe of Jesus when He returns), (2) special honor
* ring of the Father - the supreme authority
in the household
* sandals - freedom - slaves go barefoot,
only free people can wear shoes
Some Points of Interest:
* asking the inheritance before father's death
-- seen as a curse to the living father (i.e. Dad, you are as good as
going to a distant country -- the younger son is deliberately trying
to get away from his father and family. There must be
for fun even in his original neighborhood.
* coming to his senses -- sometimes we are
in deep trouble and yet not asking God for help. This verse calls
* wanting to be a hired man -- our human
concerning repentance is one of due compensation -- we want to pay for
the trouble we caused or sins we committed.
* father running to meet his son --
embarrassing and maybe even unhealthful (if he is old) act for the head
of the household.
* the lost son: "I'm no longer to be called
your son" -- the son admits who his father is and his unworthiness to
reason for celebration -- for his safe return. The father said
nothing about the lost property. This shows God's priorities -- a
soul is worth more than the whole world.
* older brother: "I've been slaving for you
and never disobeyed your orders" -- this is the human attitude toward
-- one of slavery and obedience to commands.
* older brother: "this son of yours..." --
he didn't say, "my brother" or even call him by name. He looks
at his own brother because of his brother's wasteful living.
* father: "this brother of yours..." -- the
father reminded him this lost son is also his brother, no matter what
Additional food for thought:
* What kind of "Christian" is the elder
brother? Do many Christians live like slaves to religious
teachings because they don't understand what God has prepared for them?
* What does the father really want from these
* Is there a better way to live than what the
two sons have chosen for themselves?
What do you think is the younger son's perception of the father before
What do you think the lost son learned while he was away?
What do you think is his perception of the father after he returned?
What do you think is the older son's perception of the father
Do you think the father really needs the older son to work in the
Why was he in the field?
Why do you think the older son never got a calf for celebration?
What seems to be the father's idea of the father-son
What did he show to the younger son?
Why was the older son so angry? Are you angry at God if someone
really sinful becomes a Christian and receives God's blessings just as
Who do you think is the bigger winner at the end, the older or younger
This lesson was developed by George Huang. Got a question or want
to publish this lesson? E-mail
Last updated: 8/2/2005