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26. THE LOST SON (Luke 15:11-24)

BACKGROUND: A house in the Middle East doesn't normally stand on a hill by itself, but by a densely populated village road. The only place that provides a long view is the roof of the house. Also, keep in mind that respectable men don't run in the Middle East.
  1. Why wasn't the younger son satisfied with his life at home even though he had a good home and a good father?
    • If you had been in the father's place, how would you have answered your son's request?
  2. Why doesn't God try to stop a person who wants to leave him?
  3. What is your opinion about the life the younger son led while aboard - was it a happy life or not?
    • Why do so many people in our day want to lead a life like that - traveling abroad with much money and without any care for tomorrow?
  4. A pig is an unclean animal for Jews. How do you think the young man felt in the situation described in verses 14-16?
    • What options did the young man have in this situation?
    • What options do you have in your present situation when it comes to your relationship with God?
  5. Verses 18-19 contain the young man's confession of sin. What were his sins against heaven? Why did he confess these sins first?
    • What were his sins against his father?
  6. In what situation do we tend to think like the prodigal son: "I am no longer worthy to be called a child of God" (vs. 19)?
    • When is a person worthy to be called a child of God?
  7. Why didn't the son say to his father all that he had planned to say (verses 18-19 and 21)?
  8. What had the father been doing all these years (verse 20)?
    • When do you think the father forgave his son?
    • When did the son start to believe in the love of his father?
  9. Where is Jesus himself in this parable?
GLAD TIDINGS: The parable of the prodigal son teaches us something about Jesus by the means of contrast. Jesus, too, left his home and his Father, but for totally different reasons: to fulfill the will of his Farther. And yet, when he was coming back home at the end of his life, he didn't get the same hearty welcome as the prodigal son did. In fact, the opposite happened: the door was, so to speak, slammed in his face. Why?

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