Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.

15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.

26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:

30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

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 father’s house? What did his father give him when he returned? How do the father’s 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 the Lord to give you strength to draw nearer to Him.