God On The Net

The Parables of Jesus

It is important to realize that Jesus did not simply teach about how to live a 'good' life or be a 'nice person'.  Each of His parables also teaches about the relationship between God and man.


Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)  [11] Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.  [12] The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.  [13] "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.

[14] After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  [15] So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  [16] He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

[17] "When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  [18] I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  [19] I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' [20] So he got up and went to his father.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  [21] "The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. '

[22] "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  [23] Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.  [24] For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

[25] "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  [26] So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  [27] `Your brother has come,' he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' [28] "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.  [29] But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  [30] But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'

[31] " `My son,' the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  [32] But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

"What points does the Parable of the Prodigal Son make?"

  • We don't have to (and can't) earn God's love.

  • God loves us because He considers us His children.  We are family.

  • God won't force us to live by His rules.  If we insist, He will let us go our own way.

  • If we choose to do things our own way instead of the Father's way, we have to live with the consequences of our actions.

  • God will always accept a repentant sinner, no matter what the person has done.

  • Even when the prodigal son was working and starving, no one gave him anything.  His father gave him a ring, the best robe, and sandals and held a celebration.  The Lord's Prayer begins "Our Father, who art in heaven ..."

  • Those who have been good should not resent those who have been forgiven.

  • No matter what we have done in the past, God is genuinely happy when we come to Him.

  • The older son never took advantage of what was already available for him.  Many people do the same with Jesus' free gift of salvation.


(c) 1998 by Rick Reinckens

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