This study will focus on two main parts:
How God Forgives Us and How We Forgive Others.
OUR FORGIVING FATHER
Scripture Reference: Luke 15:11-32
“Every evening, the old man sat on the porch after a hard day of work. He looked out the gate and down the road, hoping to catch a glimpse of a traveler. During the day, out on the fields, he would stretch his back and scan the horizon watching for a figure headed home. Then one day, he saw him. A thin, ragged young man turned in from the road. The father knew it was the person he had been waiting for. In a burst of joy and desperate anticipation, the old man did something his servants had never seen him do…He ran to meet his son.” — Douglas Connelly
The previous story is how our author paints Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son.
Based on the scripture referenced above, and on your personal feelings, consider the son’s feelings when he left home, when he was living it up in a distant land, when feeding the pigs, and when seeing his father running toward him as he returned home.
Think of how different stages of your life might parallel the stages and feelings of the prodigal.
Do you believe the father was wise in giving the younger son his inheritance? Why, or why not? Think of why the father gave in anyway.
What does the father waiting at home tell us about God waiting for us to return to Him? Consider other ways the father could have reacted about the son’s return. What does the father’s response indicate about our Heavenly Father when we repent?
How would you use this story to explain God’s response to the sinner who returns to Him?
Do you find the older brother’s response reasonable and understandable? How does the father respond to the older brother’s objections?
Do you identify more closely with the younger or older brother? Why?
Based on the father’s words to both brothers, what would God say to you if you were having a father/son talk?
There are three linked parables on this occasion:
The one just discussed, “The Prodigal Son”.
Luke 15:3-7, “The Lost Sheep”.
Luke 15:8-10, “The Lost Coin”.
What do the three parables reveal about God’s character?
NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
Thank you for joining in this study. Please let me know if you have any questions about this week’s lesson.