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The Parable of the Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32


  • What is God really like?  What we think about life and what we think about religion depends a lot on what we think God is like.  How do we know what He is like?
  • Jesus tells us a story in Luke 15 that gives us an idea what our Creator is like.  
  • This is the third of five parables about the Kingdom of God.  Before it we see a story about a Lost Sheep and a Lost Coin. 
  • A parable is a story that tries to explain something about God or heaven.  How do you explain Boza?
  • Often it is called the “Parable of the Prodigal Son”, but it’s not really about the son; it’s about the Father.  It should be called the “Parable of the Loving Father.”
  • Here we get a glimpse into what God is really like.  Last week we talked about how people have different opinions about God, but this is how God describes Himself.
  • What is God like and what does God really think about us?

The Dream

  • Luke 15:11-12  “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”
    • Luke 15:11-12  1 Каза още: Някой си човек имаше двама сина.  12 И по-младият от тях рече на баща си: Тате, дай ми дела, който ми се пада от имота. И той им раздели имота.
  • This man has a dream.  He is going to take what his father has given him and use it for his own enjoyment.
  • “Daddy, I want you dead. All I care about is your money.”  What do you think about this young man and his attitude toward his father?
  • All too often people just want to use God.  Using God takes different forms:
    • Сделка –God if you give me this, I’ll….
    • We use the talents and abilities that God has given us for our own pleasure.
  • This man had a dream.  The only thing he wanted from his father was his money, but sadly his father had so much more to offer him and he didn’t know it because of his greed.
  • We are all this young man.  We have taken the good gifts of God and have used them for our own pleasure.
  • This man had a dream, but he dreamed only of things for himself.

The Reality

  • Luke 15:13-16  “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”
    • Luke 15:13-16  И не след много дни по-младият син си събра всичко и отиде в далечна страна, и там разпиля имота си с разпуснатия си живот.  14 И като иждиви всичко, настана голям глад в оная страна; и той изпадна в лишение.  15 И отиде да се пристави на един от гражданите на оная страна, който го прати на полетата си да пасе свини.  16 И желаеше да се насити с рошковите, от които ядяха свините; но никой не му даваше.
  • The dream is often confronted by the reality.
  • Once we get something from God we all too often move on and forget Him.
  • Things are never as good as we think they are when we are living our lives apart from our heavenly Father.
  • The smart thing was for him to immediately return to his father, but he is going to try to make it on his own and ends up being hungrier than the pigs.
  • This is where the story should end.  He gets what he deserves.
  • But fortunately for us the story does not end here.  There is still hope for the man who is eating pig slop.
  • There comes a point in every man’s life, when he is far from Father God that he ends up eating with the pigs.
  • The dream of freedom is often overturned by the reality of life.

The Plan

  • Luke 15:17-19  “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.” ’
    • Luke 15:17-19   17 А като дойде на себе си рече: Колко наемници на баща ми имат излишък от хляб, а пък аз умирам от глад!  18 Ще стана да ида при баща си и ще му река: Тате, съгреших против небето и пред тебе;  19 не съм вече достоен да се наричам твой син; направи ме като един от наемниците си.
  • “And when he came to his senses” One of the greatest saying of the Bible!
  • It is often when we are in the mud with the pigs that we start to ask ourselves, “who am I?”
  • He comes up with a plan.  We run from God, we get into trouble, we try to get ourselves out of the trouble, it doesn’t work, and now we are desperate.
  • He has tried through his own strength to fix the situation, but cannot.
  • The Bible makes one statement that is different from all the other world religions.  We cannot save ourselves! 
  •  The only solution to life’s difficulties, the only LONG TERM solution, is to return to our Father.
  • So, does his plan work?

The Hope

·         Luke 1:20-24  “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. 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.”

o       Luke 15:20-25   20 И стана и дойде при баща си. А когато бе още далеч, видя го баща му, смили се, и като се завтече, хвърли се на врата му и го целуваше.  21 Рече му синът: Тате, съгреших против небето и прред тебе; не съм вече достоен да се наричам, твой син.  22 Но бащата рече на слугите си: Скоро изнесете най-хубавата премяна и облечете го, и турете пръстен на ръката му и обуща на нозете му;  23 докарайте угоеното теле и го заколете и нека ядем и се веселим;  24 защото този мой син бе мъртъв, и оживя, изгубен бе, и се намери. И почнаха да се веселят.  

·         “While he was still a long way off” His father was waiting for him the entire time!

·         When we are in the mud with the pigs we often do not see how much God loves us. 

·         Did his father react as the son thought he would?  No, he ran to him… “While he was a long way off…” 

·         This is our God.  We have left Him, used what he has given us for our own pleasures, but he is waiting for us to return home.  He is hoping and waiting that we will one day come to our senses.


  • The crumpled five leva.
  • No matter what life does to us we still have worth in God’s eyes.
  • But we must come to our senses, get up, and go to our Father.
  • I want to challenge you to do that today.  If you want to run back to your Father I want to ask you to stand and say a prayer with me to Him.
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