Parables of Lost Things
32 total verses: Luke 15:1-32
Brief description of action taking place or point being made
194. Eats with tax collectors and sinners in Luke 15:1-2
195. Lost sheep, coin, and son in Luke 15:3-32
1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?
Specific questions on this passage
After Completing the Bible Reading
Broader outline of each section of passage
Luke 15:1-2. Tax collectors and sinners kept coming to Jesus, but the Pharisees complained about Jesus keeping such bad company.
Luke 15:3-32. So Jesus tells them several parables to help them see like he sees. The first is the parable of the lost sheep. In this parable, a shepherd leaves 99 sheep alone while he searches for the missing one, and rejoices greatly when that one is found. Heaven rejoices like that when one sinner repents.
Similarly, Jesus tells a parable about a woman who lost one of ten silver coins. She searches diligently for it, and when she finds it, she rejoices greatly.
In the third parable, which is perhaps the most famous parable in the Bible, commonly called the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the youngest son asks his father for his inheritance before he dies. The father gives it to him and he goes off and spends everything on wild living. In poverty, he ends up feeding pigs, and the pigs are eating better than he is. So he decides to go home and ask to be taken in as a servant. But when his father sees him, he runs to welcome him, and throws a big party in his honor. This upsets the older brother. But the father tells him that it was as if the younger brother came back from the dead, so they had to celebrate. The father assures him of his love and that all he has is his.
My favorite passage and other random thoughts
My favorite verse in this chapter is from the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:20. It says, “‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him'” (ESV). I like this because it shows the willingness and enthusiasm of God (whom the father represents in this parable) to have us turn toward Him (we are represented by the prodigal son in this parable). After the son did such a lousy thing to his father — asking for his inheritance, as if the father were already dead, and then running away from home — and after the son spent all of his wealth so quickly, he realizes how good he had it, and even how good the family servants had it. So he heads home.
But the father had been looking for him — that’s how he saw the son even when he was such a far way off. And the father didn’t just wait for the son to get home, but RAN to the son. And the father didn’t give him a nice handshake, but enthusiastically hugged him and kissed him. And the father didn’t take him in as a hired hand, but restored full rights of a son to him. And the father didn’t treat the son’s return as a return to the status quo, but threw a great feast to celebrate.
If God is like this toward us — and by telling this parable, Jesus is saying that He is — then what a joy this is that we can understand that the Father feels so enthusiastic about us. Even as we head towards Him, He runs to us, embraces us, kisses us, throws a party, gives us a ring and a robe showing that we really are his sons (or daughters). And we have to believe that His enthusiasm for us is not just a one-time thing, but He is always enthusiastic towards us. In fact, reading further in the parable, we see that the father says as much to the elder son, explaining to him that this is the way the father has always felt about both sons.