1. Read vs. 11 and 12a. What does the younger son's request tell us about: 1) his attitude toward his father; and 2) his value system?
2. Read v. 12b. How must the father have felt about the son's request? Yet what did he do for the younger son? Why do you think the father granted the son's request?
3. Read v. 13. What does this passage tell us about the son's idea of the way to be "happy"? What is wrong with his idea (1Pe 2:11; Psa 16:11)?
4. Read vs. 14-16. What do the following expressions tell us about the difference between his life in his father's house and his life in a distant country? 1) There was a severe famine in that whole country; 2) he began to be in need; 3) he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country; 4) who sent him to his fields to feed pigs; 5) he longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. What does this passage teach us about the life that doubts God's love and leaves Him out of our lives (Rm 6:23)?
** I will set out and go back to my father (17-24)
5. Read vs. 17-20a. What do the following statements tell us about the meaning of repentance? 1) he came to his senses; 2) I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you..."; and 3) he got up and went to his father.
6. Read vs. 20b-24. What does the passage tell us about the father? What do you think the "best robe" and the "ring" signify? In what respect is the father a picture our Heavenly Father who sent Jesus (1Jn 4:16-19)?
** But we had to celebrate and be glad (25-32)
7. Read vs. 25-32. What do the following tell us about the elder son? 1) the way he found his brother's home-coming; 2) he was angry and refused to go in; 3) Look! All these years I have been slaving for you; 4) [I] never disobeyedyour orders; 5) Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends; 6) But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' But what did the father say to him?