GOAL: The student will be able to identify the elements that emphasize GOD’S grace toward the lost son and the oldest son at home.
INDICATOR: Having identified the elements that emphasizes GOD’S grace the student attempts to exemplify the attitude of the Father toward the one who repents and not the attitude of the oldest son.
Prepare for the reading of the lesson text with this Introductory
“The Story of The Prodigal Son is one of the most familiar stories
in the Bible. To a great degree, our understanding of this text
is filtered through our own experience. Parents who have are
presently struggling with wayward children will tend to identify
with the father of the prodigal, and look at this text for guidance
and comfort for them in the midst of their pain and adversity.
Those who have fallen into sin will focus upon the wayward son
and on the loving and forgiving heart of the Father. Few of us
will choose to identify with the oldest brother, and yet, in the
context of Chapter 15, he is the central figure, his sin is most in
view, and his reaction to his brother’s repentance and return is
our LORD’S explanation for the grumbling of the Pharisees and
Remember, this is JESUS’ response to the Pharisees and scribes
dislike of JESUS sharing company with tax collectors and sinners.
- Race for Love: Read verse 20b.
a] Ask a student to read “What Others Say” – John Piper from the
Commentary on page 201.
b] Having read the comments by John Piper what message is JESUS
giving about GOD by showing the Father in running to the lost son,
falling on his neck and kissing him?
- Party Hearty!: Read and discuss verses 21-24
a] From the son’s statement in verse 21 what indicates he is truly
b] List the items the Father put on the lost son and what each may mean.
[See: Top of page 202 in the Commentary]
c] Had the son done anything to earn back his sonship status?
This is a marvelous picture of GOD’S grace. The Father gave the lost son
status that he didn’t deserve.
TRUTH: GOD, the loving Heavenly Father, waits to welcome each repentant sinner home with open arms.
- Mysterious Music; Count Me Out!: Read and discuss verses 25-32.
a] What is the reason the oldest son had such a bad attitude about what the
Father was doing for his younger brother?
b] Is the older brother justified in his behavior? Why or Why not?
c] What should be the oldest son’s response? Why?
d] How does the Father show grace to the older son?
e] Which son do you identify with the most?
LESSON CLOSING APPLICATION:
As individuals we may share the attitude of the Pharisees as we
discount certain people in subtle or even overt ways. If we take
JESUS’ parable to heart, we cannot be indifferent to people who
are lost sinners in need of JESUS the SAVIOR. We must welcome
each sinner who repents.