The Compassionate Father Part 1: Return of the Prodigal Son

June 3, 2019 No comments exist

It had been a while since his younger son had left, but he awaited the day for his son to return. He had two sons. While his oldest son remained faithful, his younger son, desiring to see the world and live life as he chose, had asked for his portion of the inheritance before time. Despite it being the wrong time and disrespectful, he had given the inheritance to his younger son. Soon after, his younger son left to explore the world. As his son explored the world, he waited and believed his son would return.

One day, he looked up, and just as he had hoped, his younger son was returning home. Still far off, he did not wait for him to reach their home. He ran to his son, hugged him, and kissed him.  His heart was full of compassion. His son spoke of how he had sinned against him, but with a heart full of joy, the father called his servants to bring the best robe, to put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet, and to kill the best calf for they would celebrate the return of his son. He knew his son was lost, but he knew he had found what was more important and had returned home. The father was grateful.

Source: Luke 15:11-32

Discuss

  1. How does it feel when people show disrespectful behavior toward you?
  2. How did the father react to his younger son’s disrespectful behavior? Why do you think he chose this?
  3. How should we respond to disrespectful behavior?
  4. When his son left, the father had an expectation that his son would return. How do we respond in similar situations?
  5. When the son did return, the father was full of love and compassion. How would you have felt?
  6. Why do you think the father was full of love and compassion? What did he understand?
  7. Though his son apologized, the father was more focused on what the son had learned and decided to celebrate. Why did the father choose celebration? Would you have done the same?
  8. The father gave his son the best despite all that had happened. How can we give the best to people who have wronged us?

Key Scriptures

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. Luke 15:20-24 ESV 

Thoughts

  1. Never lose hope that the lost will find their way.
  2. Allow yourself to be open to forgiveness.
  3. Have compassion for those who are lost for once we were lost.
  4. Celebrate the good.

Prayer

Father God, thank you for giving us direction and helping us find our way. As you have been forgiving and compassionate toward us, may we extend that same grace to others. May we extend to them what we desire to be extended to us, and may we celebrate the good. We ask this in your son Jesus’s name. Amen.

Comment: When has someone shown compassion toward you? How did you feel?

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