The Parable of the Lost Son

Gospel Meditation

Luke 15:11–32

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1. Here is the third of the “lost” parables and this time what is lost is a human being not a sheep or a coin.

2. The youngest of two sons asks his father for his share of the family’s property, which was a practice in that day.

3. The father does so, giving him, according to Deuteronomy 21, one third of what would become his inheritance, the oldest son receiving two thirds.

4. The wild young man, driven by sinful desires, soon squanders all and becomes desperate, even to the point of tending pigs, which would be most repugnant for a Jew.

5. Nearing a point of desperation of even life itself, the young son knows he must return to his father. Nearing home, his father sees him from a distance, runs to embrace his son, and welcomes him back home.

6. Out of pleasure and gratitude, the father throws a big dinner party, sparing no expense.

7. The older son, hearing the sounds of celebration, comes upon the festive gathering and complains to his father that he had never received such attention, and even speaks badly of his younger brother.

8. The father however tells his older son that he was always special to him, but that his younger brother who was as good as dead is now alive, indeed he who was lost is now found.

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