1. Luke 15 11:-32 is the well known parable about a Father and his two sons. The sermon describes the parable as a mirror for ourselves, causing us to consider how the younger son doesn’t know the love of the Father, and the older son doesn’t know himself. Which one of these sons do you think you are more like?
2. Looking more closely at the younger son, he believes something in the far country will love him better than the Father does. What comes to mind for you when you consider the younger son. Ask yourself: what’s the distant country I run to?
3. The older son reminds us that we often don’t know what we are really like and don’t understand the impact we have on others. Can you think of a situation where you have seen yourself become angry because of the morality of others not measuring up to your standards? What are some of the comparisons you make to elevate yourself above others?
4. The one constant in the parable is the love of the Father. He speaks his love for us while knowing who we really are. How can you stop this week and hear that voice more clearly? what could help you be reminded of the constancy of the Father’s love for you right now?
5. The parable ends with a final, open-ended invitation to receive the love of the Father and come celebrate. Does the image of celebration resonate with your own experience of God the Father? How are you remaining outside of the celebration right now?
Luke 15:1-2; 11-32
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 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.’”
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.