The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32: “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’

28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”


This is seriously one of my favorite parables. It ranks right up there with the parables of the hidden treasure and the pearl (Matthew 13:44-46). I’ll do my best to try to explain it for you.


The son set off “to a distant country” to live a life of sin. When we rebel against God and try to live our own lives, we are like the son who left his father’s house to pursue his own fleshly desires. As you may have noticed in your life or in the life of others, sin leads you to nowhere except destruction. The goal of the lost son was clear: he wanted do live away from the authority of his father and fulfill his own sinful desires. That’s the attitude of the multitude that refuse Christ today. They don’t want to live up to his standards, so they rebel. They don’t realize that they only take away from what God wants to give them.

When the son “came to his senses” in verse 17, he realized that path he was walking was pointless. He realized how stupid he had been and realize he had enslaved himself to sin. The son humbled himself and set off to return to his father to confess his sin. He was willing to become less, knowing in the long run he’d be more. That’s what happens when the spiritually lost finally realize (by the work of the Holy Spirit) they are utterly sinful. They are humbled and seek to return to the Father.

Now we get to the best part. The father had compassion on his son. This is the same compassion that God has for the spiritually lost. Only God’s love and compassion is many times greater than that of an earthly parent. If you have strayed away from the path of righteousness, God will accept you back. He accepts you back just like the father did to the prodigal son. In fact, when you repent and turn back to God, all of Heaven celebrates like they did in the father’s household. You are raised back from a life of death to the fulness of life found in Jesus Christ.


God bless!





About Austin Coons

20 years old. Follower of Jesus Christ. Studying Pastoral Ministry at Moody Bible Institute.

Posted on August 20, 2012, in Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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