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A Compassionate Father (Luke 15:11-32)

Introductory Thoughts

Compassion forgives. A familiar parable of the Lord displays this truth. A father had two sons. One stayed home with his family and worked the land, while the other son decided to leave and travel the world. Before leaving, he asked for his inheritance (what he would have received upon his father’s death). Instead of being a wise steward with this inheritance, he foolishly wasted it. Afterward, he found himself broke and starving in the middle of a famine. At this point, he would have willingly eaten the swine’s slop. Finally, he decided to return home even if it meant that he would become a servant rather than a son. As he neared the old homestead, his father saw him coming. His father wasted no time but ran to meet and embrace him. Rather than rebuking his son, the father welcomed him back into his home with a renewed relationship.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God the Father always wants to forgive. In this story, although the son had been very unwise, the father was glad to have his son return home. The son said he was sorry and wanted his father to forgive him. What should we do when we do bad things?
  • (For everyone): The son wasted his inheritance by living foolishly.  When the son returned, what did he own at his fathers house? What did his father give him when he returned? How do the fathers actions demonstrate compassion?
  • This parable is a great picture of what God has done for us in salvation. Think of some things you did before you were saved. Did you deserve the compassion you received? How did you feel once you got saved? Did you realize that you received mercy from the Lord?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask God to help you rejoice when others receive compassion.
  • Ask theLord to give you strength to draw nearer to Him.