These are my notes from our 6/24/2012 church meeting.
Leader: David Chunn
Read Luke 15 :11-32.
- Luke 15:11-13 – What's the importance that you see in the significance of the son asking for his inheritance early?
- Luke 15:14-16 – What comes from the life the son was living?
- Luke 15:12-19 – What example was Jesus trying to show us with with the son's plan for coming home?
- Luke 15:20 – What's the significance of of the father getting up and RUNNING to his son? What does this verse show us about God's character and his love for us?
- Luke – 15:21-24 – How is Jesus trying to show compassion, love and mercy?
- Luke 15:25-32 – What can we learn from the elder son? Look from his perspective and see how he handled the situation and how God calls us to handle it.
What's the importance that you see in the significance of the son asking for his inheritance early?
Each of us has an inheritance of a home in heaven. At times in our life, we start lusting for a different life. Something or someone draws our attention away from GOD. We exchange a greater inheritance for a temporary period of pleasure in sinful living.
Additionally, the younger son didn't want to wait—he was impatient. He wanted his reward NOW. We too are impatient at times and don't want to wait for the Father's plans to unfold so we can receive His blessings. We demand our gifts from Him now so we can pursue our future rather than His.
I'm reminded of the lyrics from Casting Crowns' "Somewhere in the Middle":
Just how close can I get Lord
to my surrender
without losing all control?
With eyes wide open to the differences,
the god we want and the GOD who is,
but will we trade our dreams for His,
or are we caught in the middle?
What comes from the life the son was living?
Temporary pleasure, followed by loneliness, poverty, hunger, regret, and the choice of prideful resistance or humbling ourselves to repent.
What example was Jesus trying to show us with with the son's plan for coming home?
Jesus is teaching us that, while there is life, it is never too late to return to the Father. The son was planning to ask for a position in the Father's house as just a slave. Jesus shows that, when we choose the life of sin and go to the far country, it leaves us feeling like less than we once were. The pain of guilt is heavy.
What's the significance of of the father getting up and RUNNING to his son? What does this verse show us about God's character and his love for us?
The significance of the Father running to greet the son is that it shows the attitude GOD has toward the repentant sinner. He just wants them to return. He wants them back in His family, which can only happen when past transgressions are forgiven and forgotten. He doesn't wait for us to come graveling for a slave's position. Instead, when we begin the journey of repentance, He runs to meet us. GOD doesn't have a "told ya so" attitude, although He certainly is always right and knows best.
How is Jesus trying to show compassion, love and mercy?
In the parable, Jesus shows compassion by the Father running to the son, love in giving a welcome home feast, and mercy in forgiving the wasted inheritance and defacing of the family image (name). Jesus goes the extra mile here to teach those who have lived righteous lives and never gone into the far country that they, too, are very loved and appreciated. When their brother is "brought back from the dead", however, that's reason for family celebration.
In its textual context, Jesus is teaching the Jews that GOD eagerly waits for the return of sinners, and celebrates their return with the angels in heaven.
What can we learn from the elder son? Look from his perspective and see how he handled the situation and how God calls us to handle it.
When a dead brother returns to life, that's cause for celebration. Don't be so self-centered that we miss the significance. As the older brother, this isn't about you, but you have a role to play in the celebration.