We continue our look at forgiveness with one of Jesus’ most well known parables. In Luke 15:11-24, Jesus talks about a kid who thinks he’s got it all together. He demands half of his dad’s money and takes off to spend it on himself. It’s only when the money is gone he realizes he’s made a HUGE mistake and needs forgiveness. He’s got just one hope: that his dad will let him come home and be a servant.
The Story of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger son spoke to his father. He said, ‘Father, give me my share of the family property.’ So the father divided his property between his two sons.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son packed up all he had. Then he left for a country far away. There he wasted his money on wild living. 14 He spent everything he had. Then the whole country ran low on food. So the son didn’t have what he needed. 15 He went to work for someone who lived in that country. That person sent the son to the fields to feed the pigs. 16 The son wanted to fill his stomach with the food the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything.
17 “Then he began to think clearly again. He said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough food! But here I am dying from hunger! 18 I will get up and go back to my father. I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven. And I have sinned against you. 19 I am no longer fit to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him. He was filled with tender love for his son. He ran to him. He threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattest calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 This son of mine was dead. And now he is alive again. He was lost. And now he is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
Bottom Line: Everyone needs to be forgiven, even me.
Realizing one’s need for forgiveness is a huge step for anyone. But through Jesus’ story, we hope kids realize that everyone needs forgiveness, even them.