Day 8

Lost and Found

from the The Parables of Jesus reading plan

Luke 15:1-32

BY She Reads Truth

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?


Post Comments (81)

81 thoughts on "Lost and Found"

  1. Chelsea Howard says:

    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.

    1. Tanya Vandesteeg says:

      This is very powerful- thanks for sharing!

  2. Jode says:

    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.

    1. Ame Gaschk says:

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

  3. Kyleah Mindala says:

    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.

  4. Shelley Duncan says:

    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?

  5. Melanie says:

    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.

  6. Leah Rae says:

    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.

  7. Tracy says:

    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.

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