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The Younger Son

April 13, 2014

Sometimes, in our immaturity, we can make seriously bad decisions. The good news is that if we have Christian family members who love us, they will take us back if we repent.  God regards us as His children. He wants us to be obedient, but if we stray away, repent, and return, He accepts us back with open arms and great happiness.- Bernie Parsons

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The Younger Son

by Bernie Parsons


Presented to Globe church of Christ on 04-13-2014

Presented to Load church of Christ on 05-04-2014



We recently studied on the two sons in the parable that Jesus gave: one son refused to do what his father had told him to do, but repented and went. The other agreed to do what his father told him to, but changed his mind and did not go. The approval goes to the repentant son who did what his father asked him to do.


In this lesson, Jesus gives another parable of a son who goes against his father’s wishes.


Luke 15:11 "And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.”

We would think it proper for a young man to wait until his father dies, or grows too old to work, before expecting his inheritance. This young man is impatient, demanding an early inheritance. Is he going into business for himself? Is he embarking upon a bright future with the money?


Luke 15:13 “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”

We see why that he wanted his inheritance early – he squanders it on a wild lifestyle.


Luke 15:14 “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”

After he wastes his inheritance, he finds that he cannot even afford food.


Luke 15:15 “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”

Jesus is talking to Jews about a situation that they can easily understand. If this were one of their children, this scenario would be horrible. Not only has the younger son wasted all of his inheritance and fallen hungry, now he must work for another in order to have resources. His job is working with animals that the Jews consider unclean -- hogs. He is so hungry that he considers eating the husks that he feeds to the hogs.


Luke 15:17 “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

In his misery, he realizes that while he is starving, his father is feeding his servants well. He repents of his wayward behavior, and decides to ask his father for a job – that will be better than feeding unclean hogs!


Luke 15:20 “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”

It would seem that, while his son is gone, the father watches the horizon for any sign of his return. One day, he is rewarded with the appearance of his heretofore lost son.


Luke 15:21 “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

The repentant son confesses his sins, and declares himself unworthy as a son.


Luke 15:22 “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

The father rejoices at his son’s return, and decides to throw a party. It is as if his son has returned from the dead. After all, death means “cut off”, and he had been cut off from his son.


Luke 15:25 “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.”

The older brother inquires as to the merriment, and is told about his younger brother’s return.


Luke 15:28 “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”

The older son is angered by the outpouring of love, envious of the great party that is underway.
He reminds his father of his own obedience, and how that he has faithfully served his father. Not once has his father thrown such an extravagant for him and his friends. He further reminds his father that his younger brother wasted his inheritance on a life of debauchery – wild times and wild women.


Luke 15:31 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."

The father is surprised at his older son’s reaction, and tells him that what is left of the inheritance was his, including the family business. He could have thrown his own party for his friends at any time.

That aside, the father explains the reason for the party – he is not rewarding the younger son’s bad behavior. Rather, he is celebrating the return of his lost son.

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