The Prodigal Son

Goals for this Week’s Study:

  • Review Sunday Morning’s Message.
  • Help group members understand what Repentance and Grace really are.
  • Congratulate everyone for taking the next step of joining or continuing with a group. Encourage those joining a group for the first time to stick with it and build new relationships.

Getting Started:

Open your group with prayer.

DISCUSS: Have you ever gotten lost? When you were a kid, while driving, etc? Share that story and how you felt while you were lost and then when you were found.


Luke 15: 11 – 32

11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[b]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

Study Questions

1. How would the reactions of the shepherd, the woman, and the father differ if what they lost had no value to them?

2. What are the commonalities in each of the 3 scenarios in Jesus’ parable? [something valuable was lost, frantic search for what was lost, celebration when the lost is found, etc.]

3.  What sets the illustration of the 2 sons apart from that of the shepherd and the woman? [100 sheep…10 coins…2 sons…the sons were the most valuable, the sons had freedom of choice so they “decided” to be found, etc.]

4. God’s Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 7:10, there is a difference between worldly and Godly sorrow. What is that difference? [Read 2 Corinthians 7:10 below]

2 Corinthians 7:10

For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

Pastor Daniel emphasized Luke 15:17. He said this was a great picture of REPENTENCE. Here’s how he broke it down:

a. Luke 15:17 – When he finally came to his senses… He changed his mind

b. Luke 15:18 – 19 – “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you,19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.” His heart changed about his lifestyle.

c. Luke 15:20 – He returned home to his Father… His course of action changed…he came HOME!

REPENTANCE – A change of mind which leads to a change of heart that leads to a change of action.

5. REFLECT: Have you experienced this type of repentance in your life? Is there a time when you remember “coming to your senses?”

If not, there’s no need to put it off any longer. The Father in Jesus’ parable is an illustration of God the Father. The response the father gave to his younger son, God the Father is waiting to respond to you in the same way!

6. What does the Father’s response show us? [forgiveness]

a. Robe – Reinstated his honor

b. Signet Ring – Reinstated his authority and place in the family

c. Sandals – Reinstated his freedom. His debt was completely forgiven!!

Final Thoughts:

  • The heart of “religion” is our attempt to “EARN” salvation. It’s NOT possible!
  • Don’t be offended that God calls you “LOST.” He calls you lost because you are of GREAT value to Him!

PRAY with your group!

Adam Eldridge