Sr High Study Outline
Luke 15:11–32 (HCSB)
11 He also said: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living. 14 After he had spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he had nothing. 15 Then he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to eat his fill from the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one would give him any. 17 When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired hands.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. 21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father told his slaves, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, 24 because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he summoned one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 ‘Your brother is here,’ he told him, ‘and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 “Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ 31 “ ‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”
KEY TEACHING THEMES
- What is Parable, Who is the Audience?
- The Prodigal Spends Wastefully
- The Famine
- Dreaming with a Broken heart
- A Gracious Father
- The Two Extremes of Sin, (represented by the two brothers)
- The Challenge, we should show God’s grace
- At the beginning and at the end of the parable the Father offers his son freedom. In the beginning, it was freedom to disobey. At the end it was freedom to come home and be loved. How is this like the freedom God offers us?
- How is this parable a good illustration of free will?
- The son spent his wealth on what he wanted when he was away from home, but it resulted in him being sad and alone. When the son shared in his father’s wealth at home, it led to community and joy. Can you relate to that son spending his wealth foolishly? Can you relate to him enjoying his father’s blessings?
- Think about the lost son’s heart. He went from life as an outcast, feeding pigs where no one would help him, to being part of a joyful celebration at his father’s house. How would this have shaped his heart? How would he think about his Father in the future?
- The older brother represented the Pharisees in this parable. In what ways was the older brother wrong?
- Are there places where you are tempted to be like the older brother, and not show grace and kindness to others? What reasons do you use to justify this attitude?
- The parable ends with Jesus extending a challenge to the Pharisees? Would they show grace to the “tax collectors and the sinners”. Now it extends to you, will you show God’s grace to those who need it? How might that look in your life?
Impress people with your life, instead of your appearances and possessions.