The Parables of Jesus: Day 8

Lost and Found


Today's Text: Luke 15:1-32

In this study of the Parables of Jesus, we are reading many of the stories Jesus used to teach hearers about how to live as His followers. Each day we’ll read parables in their immediate context, focusing on a different category of parables each week. Then we will work through a series of questions to understand the meaning of the text and take to heart the “secrets of the kingdom.”

Editor’s Note: In this Parables study, Jesus Himself is telling us stories—stories He wants us to reflect on and process. Rather than asking our writers to write their own stories about Jesus’ stories, we thought it would serve you and the text better to provide questions to help you dig into the meaning of each day’s parable. If you find a parable or passage particularly confusing, stop and pray. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you in His Word, and thank Him that we can know Him without knowing all the answers to our questions.


Week 2: Parables about Repentance and Grace

Stories about other people often reveal things to us about ourselves. This week’s selection of parables all deal with themes of repentance and grace, and in them we see that Jesus meant for His parables to stir the hearts of His hearers. As you read, let these parables serve as a kind of mirror, and ask what Jesus is showing you that you might not have otherwise seen. Use the questions below to help.


Day 8 Reading: Luke 15:1-32


1. In the parable of the lost son, what are the younger son’s problems? What does he fail to see? In what ways is the older son also lost?

2. What is the outcome of the story for the younger son? For the older son? What is the father’s role in this story?

3. What is the central point of this parable?

4. What is your response to this parable?


  • Chelsea Howard

    Both sons failed to see their identity through the Father’s eyes. The younger son thought he was no longer worthy to be called “son.” & the older son failed to see his inheritance as son. The father’s role here is to restore the identity of both sons. He didn’t get angry or surprised by the older son’s anger at what he though was unjust, but he reminded him of who he is.

  • He is faithful and constant. He is faithful in loving the son who is there tending to family things and sharing his time with the father. He is constant in his love for the son who was lost, so faithful in his love that he let the son be lost until his heart knew he needed to return to his father, he is constant in his trust for God because to wait for the lost child to come home takes SO MUCH TRUST in God and His promises to us. The enemy attacks your parenting, you get loads of guilt and pressure from family and friends, but ultimately you do what you know God wants you to do, trust and keep praying. I heard someone say once, about this parable, that it is as much of a parable about parenting as it is about the lost returning. Because just like God waits for us to return, waits for our hearts to be honestly ready, we as parents have to wait as well. The father doesn’t go get the wayward son and drag him home, he knows his heart wouldn’t be in it, it would cause bitterness and division. The father waits for God’s timing and trusts it. Trusting God and staying out of His way may be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but looking back now, I see his hand in all of it. He is faithful. His example of waiting and loving was the example I followed and my son is home now too. Sober, seeking God and loving the family that God gave him. Faithful. This parable is very close to my heart. Thank you SRT, your ministry has blessed me many times, each time God leads me to it, in fact, I am well fed when I leave your page. God Bless you.

    • Ame Gaschk

      This was so encouraging to read & exactly what I’m praying for, Thank you!

  • Kyleah Mindala

    A reminder that it’s never too late. To be mindful and prayerful for others who are lost and rejoice when they are found.

    A reminder that Jesus rejoiced on the day I came back home. Sometimes I feel ashamed of my story and the paths I took in my past but this reminds me that what matters is I came home. That my story is one to also be proud of and share because it displays Christ’s Grace and love.

    I also related to and recognized the visual of falling into the world and what it “offers” us. The younger brother left and probably had a great time at first. The world full of sinful pleasures feels high and fulfilling but only for a brief period of time. When all was said and done he was alone, broken and no one cared for him. The pigs ate better than he did. He settled for mud pies when back home there was a feast. He recognizes that at home even as a servant he is better off. He also recognizes that’s all he deserves. Yet he gets so much more when he returns. It’s like that in Christ. In the world we live a fake joy that diminishes over time and leaves us nothing. In Christ we live a continent life, an abundant one and not a single one of us deserve it, yet we get a feast. Just spoke to my heart and reminds me to not look at worldly pleasures through rose colored glasses. That in Christ is where it’s at! True joy, lasting contentment and grace.

    • Pam

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I found your story to be very comforting and I’m so thankful that you found your way Home.

  • Shelley Duncan

    What I noticed today is that the older brother was not looking expectantly for his brother to return the way the father was. Perhaps if he had been hopeful that his brother would find redemption, he, too, would have been overjoyed at his return. As Christians, do we pursue those who are astray with love and prayer, or write them off?

  • The Father’s love and acceptance is unconditional – he loves us regardless of what we’ve done (good or bad). Both Sons wrongly believed in a works theology – Father’s love and acceptance must be earned. Younger Son also fell into idolatry (worldly pleasures) and suffered those consequences. He lost his monetary inheritance, but never his Father’s love. Older Son was working to earn his Father’s love, as opposed to out of his love for the Father or simply because it was what was best (obedience, grow his inheritance). What the Older Son really missed is that he’s been blessed all these years of being in relationship with his Father, the biggest blessing of all. He’s taken it for granted. He’s forgetting to celebrate the fact that his Father loves him. The Younger Son gave up his relationship with the Father, but by the end regains it and is eternally grateful. The Father simply wants a relationship with both his Sons.

    The inheritance, I think is an intentional distract-er. Is your focus on a relationship with God (the real blessing)? Or his rewards (a secondary blessing)? I noticed that the inheritance doesn’t change – the Younger Son still has none left by the end. And all the remaining is the Older Son’s. But by the end the Younger Son is celebrating, focused on the relationship. Whereas the Older Son has missed the real blessing of his Father.

    My Response: This parable spoke to me about my relationship with my parents and brother – and a need to repent. In some ways I think I’ve been wanting my parents to accept / love my brother less because of his bad behavior (towards them, me, my sister). My brother clearly has issues he needs to work through. But wanting my parents to love him less is not right. I need to repent of this.

  • I have been the older son, lately. I had a moment much like this parable the other day. My friend received a blessing and I couldn’t find joy in it. I was perplexed that she would be blessed so greatly. She struggles with the simple daily acts of righteousness and I strive so hard to impress God with mine. I fear Him – which is good, but I do a lot for Him out of fear, not love and I expect to be compensated for it or at least extra blessed. This reading and many of your comments have blessed me to realize that this is the heart attitude I’ve had. Gosh, it was by God’s design that I read this today. I’ve been lovingly humbled this morning. Thank you.
    God is too loving and too just to have a favorite child. I love that He tells the older son – “you are always with me and all that is mine is yours”. The older son is already living in God’s favor, THAT is what I’ve been missing. It’s time to Enjoy the Lord. Praise Him.

  • The two central points I see are 1) rejoicing at the salvation of a lost soul and 2) humility before God.

    We should care so much about the souls of others that we are diligently seeking to bring them to Christ.

    We also need to recognize all that God has done for us. He is the forgiver of our sins too. Though we may be saved, we are not perfect. When we mess up, we should be humble like the prodigal son. We don’t deserve His help, but He so willingly gives it to us.

  • Jesus rejoiced the day I repented and was no longer lost. I am so very grateful!!!

  • This parable is a wonderful example of how all are equal in God’s eyes. All sin, all his people-equal. Just because the older son has been more righteous than the younger son does not mean God will bestow MORE blessings and favor on him than his wayward brother. All the blessings and favor the older son received also waits for the wayward son when he returns, despite his sin. This also is a “get woke” parable to teach us not to be good because we get better things from God, because those who are bad also receive the good and better things. Instead we should be good because we love our father and our fellow wayward brother and want to serve them and make sure our wayward brothers receive equal amount of God’s blessing and favor and are saved in his name. This parable definitely took on new meaning for me today, thank you God The father that we are all equal despite our sin because you died on the cross to appease it!

  • Veronica crump

    For the younger son he fails to see that nothing he has done can separate him from his fathers love.The lord only wants for us to repent and return to him.For the older son he fails to see that salvation is for the righteous and the unrighteous.The outcome for the younger son is that he is forgiven and for the older son he is reassured of his fathers commitment to him.The role of the father is to love all of his children equally.
    The central point of the story is the commitment and faithfulness of our lord.

    The lord is faithful to those who repent and believe on him no sin is too great for his Devine mercy give god glory.

  • Jennifer Peck

    “I will arise and go to my father”. Luke 15:18

    The parable of the prodigal son is the story of the father heart of God. This is illustrated in the actions of the father but also implied through the actions of the son. Once the son had finally hit rock bottom and reviewed his options he chose to “arise and ago to my father”. This is a significant indicator that the son knew the heart of this father, that even at his most desperate and lowest point- his father would receive him. The son had yet to repent and be received but he took the first and most important step which was to go to his father. In contrast, the older brother “was angry and would not go in”. (Luke 15:28). My prayer is for my default setting to be to arise and go to my father.

  • “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” v. 31

  • Allison Joy

    I had always thought it odd that the older son found out about his younger brother’s return when he heard the party and inquired of a hired hand. I always wondered why he didn’t know sooner. But then I thought about it. The rest of this is pure conjecture. Perhaps these two brothers have always had a contentious relationship, so the father knew that no good would come from telling the older son. Perhaps their relationship was so broken before the younger son left that nothing would be able to mend it, even had the youngest not left. Just an interesting thought, and a reminder to try to see the best in everyone so relationships are ruined for life.

  • I have heard this parable all my life, and have always looked at it from the 2 brothers point of view. But , today it touched me differently. I was brought up in the church and came to know God at an early age. Always reading my Bible and doing my best to follow God in all the peaks and valleys of life. I have failed as many times as I have succeeded, but God continues to offer me grace and forgiveness. I am the “good son.”

    But, I have stood in the pew of a small town church. I have watched as someone with a bad reputation went to the front to seek God. Someone asking for that same grace and forgiveness. The thoughts in my head were not of joy for a lost sheep returning. No, they were hateful judgmental thoughts. How could that person show their face after what they did? Yes, I would deny the very same mercy that God gave me. I would judge the “prodigal son” and deny God his lost sheep.

    But for the grace of God go I. Thank you God for the mercy and grace given to us all. Help me Lord as I mature in my life and my walk with you. Help me to always remember the love and compassion you have for me is to be shared with all those I encounter.

    • Shauna

      Wow, so true. How many times have I had to chase those thoughts out of my head!

    • Moriah Steiner

      Thank you for sharing this. I too can relate!

    • Kayla Martin

      I can relate as well to being so judgemental. Thank you for sharing. My prayer as well as our God continues to change us to be more like him all for his glory.
      I’m struggling a bit tonight with physical aliments, crying out to God to heal me and dissolve the pain. I do want to have Joy! And be thankful for his grace. Continual grace. I know I let pain dampen my joy and worry about pain and lack of healing cripple me. Prayers appreciated.

  • The part of this parable that spoke to me today is celebration. The older son is also lost, because he fails to see that he ALREADY has his fathers kingdom. Celebrate! All I have is yours! We can celebrate every day. Enjoy! As an “older brother” Christian, I am far too serious and hard working with far too little peace and joy. If I live in celebration (PEACE +JOY), others will see it, and I WILL be a better representation God. Hallowed by Your name in our world today, Father!

    • Irina

      Thank you, Becky! So true! If I would live in celebration of my Father’s Peace and Joy He abundantly wants to provide me with…

    • Kayla Martin

      Love this! Yes Peace and Joy! I need to remember to celebrate always

  • The older brother in the Prodigal Son parable has always caught my attention. So often, if you’ve been a Christian for a long time, you get stuck in this routine where it feels more like a religion than a relationship. What’s so beautiful is that the oldest son had something so precious, and he didn’t even see it.. “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’ ”
    No matter how long you’ve been with Him or how your journey looks, He is always on your side. The older brother didn’t even bother to ask for the things that he wanted.. he just wanted to be “the good one.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but the beauty of being with Jesus is that He wants the best for us.. He wants this to be a two sided relationship; both parties are happy in each other’s presence.
    I always have to remind myself of that… He’s on my side and I don’t have to be afraid to want and to ask. Jesus is so good to us.

  • None of the seekers gave up. They kept searching until they had found what was lost. The joy that brings me as I think of the list of those I love that don’t know the Father is great. He will NEVER stop searching for them.
    I’m also called though to never give up loving them, praying for them, witnessing through my words and actions. To never give up hope.

    I also noticed that rather than differences, the brothers were initially the same. They were both seeking the rewards of this world. The younger wanted the reward of all the riches and experiences of earth. The older was a rule follower who checked all the boxes looking for the reward of being better than his brother. Well… that might be some supposition but he was looking for the reward of being noticed for being “good” rather than serving his father from a loving heart and working with him to advance the farm or his inheritance (Kingdom of God).

    In a season of marital discord, God spoke to my heart and asked me to reach out to my husband in ways that I felt were unfair. Apologizing when I felt I was owed one. Loving him when I didn’t feel like it. Reaching out when I was afraid of being rejected. But as I focused my eyes, heart and actions on God, it changed my life and my marriage. Things are certainly not perfect but my relationship with my husband is far better as is my relationship with my Saviour. Instead of doing what I thought I should do (as a wife or a follower), I started doing what God told me whether it made sense by the standards of this world or not. I finally came to my senses!

    Sisters, keep looking! Don’t give up hope on those that seem lost! Let’s surrender and join God in His work!

    • Emily B.

      I love what you said about the brothers being the same. It’s easy to look at the older brother as “good” and the younger as “wayward,” but they both missed the point at different times. Thank you for your examples!

    • Kayla Martin

      Thanks for sharing! What an amazing testimony to God’s grace in your livehicle that you could lavish on your marriage! Prayers! To him be the glory!

  • I love this story, but I wish the editors would add some historical background to the parables. The older brother represented the pharisees who always followed the rules, but still didn’t love the father. The father rejoiced that the younger son came back, but was sad that the older brother refused to “come in to the party” which was extremely disrespectful to the patriarch of the family. We are left hanging about what the older brother will choose to do.
    Prodigal God by Tim Keller is a wonderful little book explaining the cultural implications the story contained and how the parable relates to us today.

  • This is the first time I have posted,although I drink in this bible study everyday.not only do i benefit from the bible study but the comments provide so much insight for me.I am so grateful to each and everyone of you.this parable is so close to home for me.I have 2 grandsons that are in drugs and separated from us.they reach out only when they need money.we do not provide money but we need prayers desperately. I am afraid we are going to lose these 2 men.

    • KimN

      Lord, surround Judy and her family with your love and peace. Give Judy strength. God we know you are seeking her grandsons and you are fighting for them. While we don’t know what that looks like, we thank you for your goodness and your sovereignty. Father, grow Judy’s faith through this season and protect her grandsons and turn their hearts to you that your name would be glorified. In Jesus name, Amen

    • Christina D.

      Praying for you and your grandsons Judy.

    • Nikki

      I lost my sister for those reasons last year. I draw great comfort in knowing that there is NOWHERE my sister could have gone that was too far for God to reach her and that through every step took she was covered in His unfailing, never-stopping, never-giving up love. The best way I could pray for her was to envision her being wrapped in the arm’s of Jesus and surrounded by His warm, radiant Light. I will pray for your grandsons in the same way.

      Also, just remember (as I’m sure you know) addiction is a disease and not a moral failing (or at least not a moral failing that is any different than my sin that causes me to worry or gossip or leads my thoughts astray.) It’s faulty wiring in their brain and their addiction is not something they are doing intentionally; meaning if they had the power to stop, they absolutely would. Praying for all of you.

    • Pam

      Dear Judy,
      Keep crying out to the Lord for these 2 precious grandsons that are lost & don’t give up hope…we have had 2 of our “sons” return from drugs & estrangement …(one son & one nephew) when it looked so scary & impossible. Only by the Amazing Grace & Mighty Power of God’s Ineffable LOVE have they been restored to our family … I will pray for your heart that I know is breaking & for these 2 precious men to return & be restored to the Love of their family & their Heavenly Father!

    • Chris Gruhlke

      Praying for you, as I️ know and understand this pain. My heart goes out to you and your family

  • Dawn Beaver

    I’m so amazed by God’s willingness to forgive no matter what position we’ve ended up in. It’s extravagant and so undeserving.

  • This was a great devotion. It reminds me how we all have been that son at one point or another.. My dear sisters there’s something here I’ve been needing share for a long time. Because of the time I need to make it short into the point. I am separated. And have been for almost 4 months. I am here with my kids staying at my moms. Please pray this morning as I go to court. Pray that it would all be favorable at the best interest of my children.

    • Erin B

      Praying for God’s protection and comfort for your family Mari, and that he would heal hurts and “make all things new”!

    • KimN

      Praying for God’s peace and comfort to wash over you Mari. Praying for His wisdom and strength for you. Praying that your faith and trust in Him would grow and deepen through this difficult time. xoxoxo

  • Sareena Denton

    1.The tounger son fails to see how loved and accepted he is when he is living and working alongside his father and brother. This ignorance leads him to look for more in life. In the same way, the older son also fails to understand the benefits and of living in his fathers presence and 100 percent acceptance. This ignorance lead him to not fully rejoice in the blessing of being in the fathers presence and it seems that he had certain rules that he had made about when there should be rejoice or not when all along there was opportunity for rejoicing.
    2. The outcome for the younger son is he now values the fathers acceptance and presence. The outcome for the older son is, just as his younger brother did, he missed out on the value and befit of being with the father and having his full acceptance and love. The father’s role was consistant, gracious, love and acceptance. The father is glad to use his sons on his property for any kind of work that he sees fit it is up to (us) the sons to find value in that role and the father’s love and acceptance. This is why the father values so much the repentance of the younger son because the father knows that the son now values the father full acceptance and love.
    3. The central point is that the Father’s arms are open wide and all we need to do is come and repent because He has made a way for us and it will not be taken away from us it is a sealed deal (thank you Jesus:)
    4. My response is I need to repent and ask God to help me see the value of His full acceptance.

  • This is a message I really need. I’ve always been big on rules and fairness and I have definitely had a hard time wrapping my head around grace for people who have committed sins that I find too horrible to forgive. But this parable really helps me understand why I’m wrong here and why I need to be OK with God’s grace across the board.

    The forgiveness of others in no way diminishes the gift that I have been given and being resentful for having followed the rules and gotten my reward for it is just silly. It may seem like someone else was able to get a shortcut by behaving badly and still getting forgiven, but the point is that we should all want everyone to be found and build a relationship with God. Grumbling about human fairness is natural but small minded and misses the point! Definitely something I need to keep in mind!

    • Jeanna

      I’m with you, Nea. I am constantly asking the Lord to help me take my little halo off and reframe my thinking and attitude of others. His grace is for everyone…. even judgemental hearts like mine.

  • 1. In the parable of the lost son, what are the younger son’s problems? What does he fail to see? In what ways is the older son also lost? I think the younger son’s problems were restlessness, wanderlust, a desire for something perceived better. I think he fails to see all he has at home – food, comfort, etc,. While it may not be “exciting” it provides. The older son likewise does not see what he has right in front of him too! While he did not physically leave, perhaps he failed to recognize that he could have a party with his friends too, and he didnt need a reason.

    2. What is the outcome of the story for the younger son? For the older son? What is the father’s role in this story? He went an pursued other passions, things, etc presumably, and then realized it was not sustainable, and remembered his father, and even the least of his fathers servants were well fed, so he didnt need to starve, so he came back, and was received. The older son allowed jealousy to rule his emotions toward his brother. I dont think he understood – he just saw the party and how he had follow rules and thought about how unfair it was. The fathers role was to celebrate his sons return – no questions asked – 100% love. And to remind his other son that you already have these gifts, this party, these things available to you all the time.

    3. What is the central point of this parable? That Jesus came to save the lost.

    4. What is your response to this parable? Happy, but a little confused. Am I the lost one or am I the older brother?

    • Gina

      I think we are both from time to time.
      We are the younger when we have strayed…and later realize we need a father.

      Our characteristic of the older one, however, is less visible. Its that deep, dark ugly place where we want to be noticed , and recognized…..and we secretly are thrilled for a moment when someone falls flat on their face when we think they deserve it.

      I remember growing up, a common saying for anybody who messed up was ‘they made their bed, now they have to lie in it’. This sounds like something the older son would say. I think this kind of attitude breaks the heart of God.

  • The story of the Prodigal Son is my favorite parable that Jesus tells; mostly because it speaks so strongly of God’s mercy and grace towards all of those who are lost – younger brothers and older brothers. However, this time when I read these 3 parables together I was struck by two things. First, there was such a single-minded determination to find what was lost. The shepherd left his flock to go find the one sheep that was lost, the woman searched every inch of her house until she found her lost coin, and the father stood on his porch every day watching for his son to come home. I want and need to have this same passion for seeking out those around me who are lost. I want to be willing to do whatever it may take to find them and bring them to Jesus. The second thing I noticed was the joy that there is when what was lost is found. I want the joy of the angels when one sinner repents. I want to be like the woman who calls all her neighbors so that they can rejoice with her. I want to be like the father who has the biggest celebration there is because “this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”
    Be blessed today, sisters.

  • Re-reading this parable made me realize that the older son has always been the ‘blessed’ one. Yes, he worked hard and put his time in, but the indulgences and money spent of the younger one did not bring happiness or fulfillment. Similar to living life for Christ–it may feel like ‘work’ at times or like one deserves something for the effort they are putting in, when in reality, that is the good life. We are all happier when we are doing good for the world. Spending money lavishly and turning away from God is not a reward. Breaking free of that life is means for a celebration.

  • I remember talking about this parable in our church about a year ago. Our pastor gave us three questions to use whenever we were reading or confused by a parable. 1. Who is God in the story? 2. Who am I in the story? 3. What is the lesson He is trying to teach?

    In this parable, we see that the father in this story represents God, and the two sons represent us at any given point in our lives. Both sons were broken in different ways. The younger son was prideful, requesting his money and wasting it away. The older son was broken in that he did not see the importance of his brother’s repentance or understand his father’s gracious reaction to his return. The lesson? Jesus did not teach that the “good” are in, and the “bad” are out. He teaches that the humble are in, and the prideful are out. The younger son realized the error of his ways, humbling himself to return home despite his mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. Instead of lecturing or punishing his son, the father runs to him with open arms. Isn’t that what our Father does for us? No matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done, no matter what’s been done to us, our Father is always waiting with open arms should we choose to come home to him. Good works are not what get’s you to God’s eternal kingdom. Verse 32 illustrates this point further as the father in this parable tries to explain what grace means to the older son. We are broken and lost, but if we put our trust in the Father and his Son, we can be born again, free and found instead of lost and broken. I love this story! It gives me such hope to visualize God seeing me the way the Father in this story sees his sons. Knowing his love and forgiveness for me are there for the taking gives me such peace!

    • Christina D.

      “Jesus did not teach that the “good” are in, and the “bad” are out. He teaches that the humble are in, and the prideful are out.” I love this! This encapsulates not only this parable for me but really the gospel as well. Such a clear and direct way to say that. Thank you for sharing!

  • Luke 15:7 struck such an encouraging cord for me today. How amazing to think that a God as big, omnipotent, and powerful as ours still gets excited over every sinner who comes home? It’s easy to imagine the father of the prodigal son throwing a party after 1/2 of his children returned, but to think about God – who has the entire universe in His control – doing the same whenever we fail Him (continuously) but then seek forgiveness and grace. That is so cool!

  • Cathylynn

    I meant to say, not borrowing anyone else’s oil, and just enjoying the richness of a relationship with You. ❤️

  • Cathylynn

    Ladies, I glean so much from all of you and your wonderful insights! This morning I am struck by yours, Dawn, that the older son might not have had the close relationship with his father that he could’ve had, and that perhaps contributed to his jealousy. I can so relate to that! Too often I compare my circumstances with those of people who do not “follow God as hard” as I do. And the real issue is that I’m standing so close to the Lord and not even paying Him any attention. May I keep my eyes on You, Father… not borrowing anyone else’s oil and reveling in my

    • Roseamary

      I wonder too if the older son even asked for a party with his friends? Did he not make his requests known to his father? Our Father wants to know our concerns and desires.

  • In its literal form, this parable hits home for me. I have a younger brother who has gone through phases of “reckless living,” and it would sometimes pain me to see my parents just welcome him back home after he had made some poor choices. Like the older brother, I felt like I had put in the work and the time day in and out to help my parents on their farm, yet all my brother had to do was show up and that was enough. It doesn’t seem fair. But this parable reminds me to not get caught up on what seems fair and what doesn’t, because someday as a child of God I stand to inherit more than I could ever dream of. Further, it tells me that if my brother comes to Jesus, he will too. Here on Earth, I should not withold what our Farther in Heaven will so willingly give. And that is more than just a farm; that is grace and forgiveness. It is hard sometimes to look at things this way because my pride and self-righteousness gets in the way. That’s why I see how this parable is as much about the older brother as it is the younger brother.

  • Churchmouse

    The heart pounds fast when one is lost, searching for the way home, hunting for familiar signs. The heart pounds fast for the one searching for that one who is lost, wondering where and how they are and if they will ever be found. When the two meet… Fear replaced with relief!! Tears of joy! Arms around each other, not wanting to let go. Oh let us never grow weary of hearing redemption stories as they remind us that the Father is ever searching and seeking to find that lost one, that no one is too far gone from His grace, forgiveness, acceptance and love. May we remember our own story and be thankful. May we earnestly pray for those who are still wandering, that they would come home.

  • The older son… so true. How we can live a lifetime surrounded by the riches and resources of our Father, and never fully USE them. Praying to see His riches around me and the supernatural tools He’s equipped in me, and make good use of them!

    • Christina D.

      Love this insight and conviction. It resonated with me today. Thank you for sharing!

  • Growing up in church, this was a parable that I heard preached on numerous times, but it took many years before I realized that while yes, I have had my fair share of self indulgences and total disregard for the Father, I more often identify with the older son — someone whose always stayed close by, checked duties off the checklist to “earn” my inheritance, knowing some day the Father would reward me for my efforts. It’s definitely a heart issue and the idea that works earn favor. Lord forgive my self righteousness.

  • I was struck by the heart of the younger son when he came back to his father. He asked to be a servant in his fathers house, knowing that it was better than being in the world. Although I’ve been a Christian for years, I was convicted to feel my sins with the same weight that the younger son did. I am unworthy, but God calls me daughter.

  • In reading one of the comments about the older son, I too often felt sorry for the son and focused on how he was treated. But look at the older son’s response. He basically says I’ve served you and never disobeyed you and got nothing in return. It made me stop and ask did he have a relationship with his father? Did they ever have conversations? Is this why he didn’t know how his father felt? How often do I not spend time cultivating my relationship with Jesus? How often do I go through the motions of reading my devotion and the Bible but not listen to what God has to say to me through His Holy Spirit?

    • CarolynJ

      Also, this makes me think, how much did the older brother take his father for granted? He didn’t realize how rough things could be out there in the world. He didn’t realize how good he had it, how every single day he never had to worry about if there would be food for him. If there would be shelter, provision, protection. The younger brother had a big case of thinking the grass was greener on the other side, which gives him perspective that the older brother didn’t have. The older brother took shelter, provision, and protection for granted. How often do we take our relationship with Jesus for granted? How often do we (I) ask for more than what I’ve already been given. I’m not worthy. As someone already commented, I’m not worthy, but he calls me adopted, a joint heir with Christ.
      Thank you for your insight and comments.

  • Cassandra

    2 things struck me: 1. And here I am starving to death…how often even when I’m ‘walking with God’ do I operate from my own strength when I could be thriving on the food he has to spare.
    2. Every thing that is mine is yours. What should we ever be jealous about when everything that’s His is ours we should be rejoicing in that even when it seems mundane! I said those words to my son last night at bedtime, he had a toddler moment of panic when he realized something wasn’t ‘his’. I said ‘hey buddy don’t worry, everything that’s mine is yours.’ And the Holy Spirit smiled at me as if to say, ‘did you hear that? Believe it. Be glad. You are rich and strong. Be bold.’

    Have a blessed day!

    • Kelly S.

      Love this!!! So, so true.

    • Christina D.

      Such wise insight Cassandra. Thank you for sharing. Especially the “here I am starving to death.” How many times have I found myself struggling while I ignore the limitless supply of God? Good words today!

    • Emily B.

      Those are both great truths. Thank for sharing them!

  • We do not always make the right decision, when we are young, (or older). We make decisions in our own strength in haste, without God, and without a thought for things, days to come or those we love.
    My grandson, I spoke of last week, is in that place right now, life seems more exciting without our rules and regulations. He has people he hangs out with that are not so blessed to have family that care, either where they are or what they are up to. In my care last week, because his mother was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery, he asked if he could go meet some friends and he would be back at the meeting place for 9pm. Conferring with his dad, we agreed, with a strong ask that he be there as promised, because the road was not really safe for me to be waiting on… needless to say, his phone was off and he didn’t return.. I waited 3 hrs, with my heart fear filled, and beating so fast, whilst my son knocked on his friends doors.. I started driving round the streets around midnight, to no avail, so made my way back to my sons after we discussed what to do. I prayed. I prayed . I prayed. I fell asleep. At 5am I woke with a start and still in my pjs went looking again, my heart pounding. Nothing… I was scared for him. I was scared for me. I was scared for the family. My mind was racing with all sorts of thoughts…

    But God…
    He heard the cries of a grandmother …
    My son phoned, around 6.15 to say he had found a message on his phone from 10.30 the night before, from my grandson, to say he was alright and that he was staying at friends…
    Its amazing what that news did to my heart and soul… he was alright, not where he should be, but he was okay… a good start…
    I rejoiced. I praised and thanked God. I was able to function thoughout the day on just the words of knowing he was ok, until I saw him that evening for myself… he was apologising as I hugged him, I didn’t care, he was home, safe and well.
    I rejoiced. Thank you Lord God. Thank you..
    The returning. The repenting. The realisation. The coming Home, the forgiveness and joy of the father…. those and that is the central point of this parable..
    Thankful that Gods arms are forever open, no matter how far I go from Him, no matter how long I am away from Him… He waits in love with forgiveness, the coat He throws around me… thank you Heavenly Father, thank you.

    Sending love and hugs wrapped in blessings to all. Happy Monday.

    • Cassandra

      Thanks for sharing Tina!!

    • Ann Johnson

      What a stirring story that makes the parable even more relevant today. I am so thankful that God heard your prayers and that your grandson is safe. Thanks for sharing your story, Tina.

    • valerie

      i am in your boat, except it’s my 16 year old son who is caught up in the “weeds of this world”. we are in a spiritual battle and the enemies strongest ammunition right now is technology. cell phones, internet and social media give all of us access to anything and anyone 24/7.
      like you, i am fighting this battle on my knees.
      thank you for sharing your story and i will pray for your grandson’s prodigal return – sooner rather than later. please pray for my son as well.

      • Tina

        I will be doing that too Valerie. I’m sorry for your troubles… but God is good… and he is near to those who call on Him in truth… sending you love and hugs wrapped in prayers…

  • I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the older son in this parable, partly because I know that I have believed for most of my life and therefore haven’t had a massive ‘conversion experience’. His wayward younger brother spends a ridiculous amount of money and comes back to be welcomed with a huge party, open arms and total forgiveness. Let this serve as a reminder to myself to be so, so grateful that what I have in my relationship with the Father is a daily blessing – I don’t need a huge coming home party to remind me that I am loved and saved – I have amazing gifts that I have access to all the time because I haven’t been as far astray.
    On the flip side, I am still so in need of forgiveness and have wandered far from the Father’s arms. I pray today that I will run back to Him and repent and turn from my sin, to fully rest in His presence.

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