Lesson 17 - The Prodigal Son

Also in the 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, there is a beautiful story of a father's faithful love for his son, eve when his son has fallen far short of his expectations. This parable was told by Jesus to illustrate the type of love that our Heavenly Father has for us as His children, even when we fall short. Jesus wants us to understand that our Father's love toward us is both infinite (limitless) and unconditional. This means that there is no boundary or limit to the love that God has for us, and His love does not depend on anything we do. There is nothing we can ever do to deserve His love. He gives His love to us freely, just because He wants to! His love does not change. When we come to Him and ask forgiveness for our sins, He receives us back again with open arms. His greatest desire is for us to come home.

   Read Luke 15: 11-31

Points to Ponder:

The lost son did not appreciate his father's true love for him until he fully realized that he did not deserve it. For us to truly know our Heavenly Father's love, we must clearly realize that we do not deserve it, and we can never deserve it. We trust in His love because we know He is always faithful to us, even though we have not been faithful to Him.

Some people do not feel they can come to God, because they are not "good enough." They think they must first "clean up their act' and then God will receive them. This is very destructive thinking. We cannot clean up our sinful hearts by ourselves; we need God to do it! If we wait until we are clean to come to God, we will never come. The reason Christ died was so that we could be forgiven and made clean. To tnrly believe in Jesus is to know that we will be forgiven and accepted when we come to know Him. Don't wait!

Notice the attitude of the older brother who had stayed home and been faithful. He thought he deserved more of his father's love because he was more faithful. With God, it just doesn't work that way. God does want us to be faithful, and He wants to teach us how to be faithful. (When we are unfaithful, we lose our sweet fellowship with Him as long as we are rebelling.) But God's love does not change! He calls us to come home and be forgiven! The father in the story tells his older son that even though the younger son had disgraced him, his love for him remains unchanged. The father rejoices that his lost son has been found, and that he is once again safe at home