This must be one of the most famous parables. What a parable is to you, may be different from what a parable is to God. God calls the actual old Tabernacle of Moses a type of “parable”, see Hebrews 9:8-9. The parable Luke gives us here in 15:11-32 is really a picture of God as a Father. The Father of spirits, Hebrews 12:9.
The Younger Child…
Asks, Travels, Enjoys, Wastes, Suffers, Despairs, Believes, Repents, and Confesses!
Gives, Watches, Runs, Listens, Sacrifices, Kisses, Forgives and Celebrates!
The Older Child…
Works, Investigates, Rejects & Condemns!
The big difference between the two children, is that we see the reaction of the younger child to the Father, but not the reaction of the older child. The reason Jesus told it that way is because He knows every disciple must decide to react in faith, when he or she feels they are cheated of God’s blessings. Hebrews 11:6. God is a good giver even to the older child! See James 1:5-6.
What does this parable teach us about the consequence of sin, if we do nothing about it? See verse 16.
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