Author: Ron Graham
The Wayward Son Who Remembered
—Parable of the prodigal son
In this lesson, we consider our Lord’s parable about the son who rebelled, then remembered (Luke 15:11-32).
The parable of the wayward son illustrates the separation of the sinner from God, and the sinner’s restoration to God. "I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
The story illustrates how a sinner can remember his Father, return and be restored. This is a fitting passage with which to start our series of lessons called “Remember”.
1 Stages the Wayward Son Went Through
As you read the story, what stages do you see the prodigal son going through? Some suggestions are shown below. Your analysis might differ from this, but not in any essential.
The turning point was when the son remembered his father and wanted to return. Of course he could — and should — have done it sooner, however the story shows that it is never too late to remember our Father and return to him, for his love suffers long.
|Lost Son’s Stages|
|R E M E M B E R E D|
2 God’s Two Paths to Pardon
Having considered the parable of the lost son, and how he remembered and repented, it is fitting to remind ourselves of God’s two paths to pardon —that is to say what God requires sinners to do in order to have their sins forgiven through Jesus Christ.
Christ is God's perfectly obedient and righteous Son. He also went away from his Father and his home, but not in rebellion or for his own sake. He did it for us.
What we should do in our repentance, depends on whether we are sinners who have not yet become Christians, or Christians who have gone astray and have again become sinners. God's requirements in each case are different.
- God’s first law of pardon is for the unconverted sinner: "repent and be baptized" (Acts 2:38).
- God’s second law of pardon is for the fallen Christian: "repent and pray" (Acts 8:22).
3 Three Important Things to Remember
In this story we see the father’s attitude toward his son. They of course reflect our heavenly Father’s attitude toward us when we stray. We should never forget these things about God...
- The father did not violate his son’s will to LEAVE
- The father was grieved that his son was LOST
- The father readily showed his penitent son LOVE
1. Which is the best description of the father’s attitude? (A) Surprised to see his son come back, (B) Hopeful that his son might return, and watching for him, (C) Not much interested in his son’s homecoming.
2. What characterized the father’s attitude? (A) Love and a desire to forgive, (B) A willingness to compromise with evil, (C) A wish to punish his son.
3. What is the law of pardon for the unconverted sinner? (A) Repent and be baptized, (B) Repent and pay $1000, (C) Repent and pray,.
4. The son said, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you'. What was his sin? (A) Rebellion, (B) Ingratitude, (C) Deception.
5. What was the turning point for the lost son? (A) When he ran out of money, (B) When he remembered, (C) When he got back home.