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The Parable of the Prodigal Son: Part Three

Rev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., August 11, 2019
Part of the The Parables of Jesus series.

When we consider our Lord’s parable of the prodigal son, our attention is naturally confined to the prodigal himself, the younger son who left his home for a life of reckless abandon in a faraway country. But the story of the younger son who returns home is only about the half of it, literally!

In Luke 15 the parable of the prodigal takes up a full 22 verses. But the last 8 verses are all about the father’s oldest son. For some reason, the story of this other son doesn’t seem to get the attention that it deserves, and the lessons that we should learn often go unobserved.

The parable of the prodigal son is really about two lost sons, one a long way from home who eventually returns, and one very close to the father, yet remaining distant and estranged. And despite the apparent differences in their respective stories, the two sons have much in common, at least initially.

Sunday’s message will be taken from Luke 15:25-32 where the second story in this parable, the story of the ‘second prodigal son,’ is presented by Jesus. I hope you will take time to carefully and prayerfully study these verses. And as you do, please pray that the Word of our Savior will bear its beautiful fruit in our lives as we hear it proclaimed this Lord’s Day.


Luke 15:25-32

25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29And 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: 30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32It 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. (KJV)