Sermon on the Prodigal Son – The Parable of the Prodigal Son



Luke 15:11-24


1. To any student of the Bible the parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most familiar.

1) Its sentiment, its scope, its message of a son’s rebellion, a wasted life, and a father’s love has been the source of inspiration for many lessons through the centuries.

2) The Theme: God’s Attitude Toward the Lost.

3) The Main Lesson: God not only accepts penitent sinners, He earnestly seeks their salvation.

2. The Background to the Parable.

1) There are many precious words in our English language – “home” is one of them. Many this very hour are thinking of home:

a. Some in prisons.

b. Some in the military.

c. Some in hospitals.

d. Some in nursing homes.

2) The reason this parable was taught was because some were not glad to see some sinners come home.

a. Luke 15:1-2.

b. We need to have the same type of attitude toward the lost as God does.

c. As God longs for, looks for, searches for, and puts forth effort for the lost – so must we.

3. Jesus, in this remarkable chapter of Luke, will show that there are basically three types of sinners:

1) The Parable of the Lost Sheep – Lost and didn’t know how to get back.

2) The Parable of the Lost Coin – Lost and didn’t know it.

3) The Parable of the Prodigal Son – Lost and knew how to get back.


I.   The Lost Soul

1. Luke 15:11-13.

2. The loss here is twofold:

1) God loses man.

a. This grieves God.

b. John 3:16.

2) Man loses God.

a. Isaiah 59:1-2

b. God has provided man a way back (Mark 16:16).

3. The son was lost through self-will.

1) James 1:13-16.

2) Because of self-will, the son desired to go into a “far country.”

a. He wanted to see the world – he wanted to eat, drink, and be merry.

b. Self-will causes many today to waste their lives on the things of this world – they focus on the fleshly instead of the spiritual.

3) Because of self-will, the son made demands of his father.

a. Deuteronomy 21:17 states that the oldest son should receive a double portion. In this situation that means the oldest son would have received 2/3 of his father’s property and the youngest son 1/3.

b. The younger son made demands of his father – being disrespectful, and his father gave his son what he desired.

c. We must be careful what we ask for – God may give it to us.

4. This son is a sober reminder that self-will separates one from the Father.

II.  The Grief of Sin

1. Luke 15:14-16

2. There are horrible consequences to sin – a famine always follows a life of sin.

3. This son had given in to his lust and had jumped full blown into sin, and now he was reaping the consequences.

1) This is one of the most difficult lessons to get the souls of this world to see.

2) Gal. 6:7-8.

3) Sin had robbed this son of his:

a. Dignity

b. Self-respect

c. Good name

d. Purity

e. Good conscience

f. Happy home

4) Notice that he at this time was seeking help in “a far country” instead of seeking help from his father.

5) Today too many are seeking help from the wrong sources.

a. The divine is our only true source of help.

b. 2 Peter 1:3.

c. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

4. This son is a vivid reminder of the consequences of sins.

III. The Journey Back

1. Luke 15:17-20a.

2. No one will ever repent until he comes to himself.

1) Reflection is needed on our part … 2 Corinthians 13:5.

2) We must look honestly at ourselves … James 1:22-25.

3) He remembered home and what he had left.

3. He admitted that he had sinned.

1) The three hardest words for man to say is “I have sinned.”

2) We can’t help ourselves until we admit we have a need.

4. He realized his unworthiness.

1) This helped him realize the need for his father.

2) This will help us realize the need for our heavenly Father.

3) Matthew 5:3.

5. He took action.

1) Simply thinking about it will not get the job done.

2) Matthew 3:8

6. This sin is a wonderful reminder that we can come back to God.

IV.  The Joy of Restitution

1. Luke 15:20-24.

2. God will meet us halfway.

1) Notice that the son’s father “ran” to meet him.

2) In restitution there is God’s part (grace) and our part (obedience/repentance)

3) We can be assured that our heavenly Father will do the same.

3. God is a God of compassion.

1) God continually looks for His children to come home. He is hurt by the separation.

2) Romans 5:8-9

4. God forgives when we repent.

1) The slate is wiped clean.

2) We are not on probation.

3) We are placed where we were when we left.

5. This son is a beautiful reminder that God forgives the penitent.


1. There are many valuable lessons to be learned from this parable:

1) God seeks and receives sinners.

2) Man is responsible for his lost condition.

3) A lost man can come to God if he so desires.

4) Separation from God brings suffering.

5) Life apart from God is a waste.

6) We must be poor in spirit to return to God.

7) A good family can have children that go astray.

8) Material things can blind us.

9) Foolish decisions while we are young can cause sorrows and trouble.

10)The allurement of the world will cause many to be lost.

11)There are many “hog-pens” in this life we need to avoid.

2. Invitation.

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16 Responses to “Sermon on the Prodigal Son – The Parable of the Prodigal Son”

  1. Michael says:

    I praise the name of Jesus Christ for this wonderful story.

  2. Rev. Michael Gbenday says:

    God bless you this wonderful life changing article. May God add more knowledge to you as you continue unraveling the truth of his kingdom. I would appreciate if this article is forwarded to my mail above.

    Rev. Michael Gbenday

  3. Matthew Tsado says:

    God’s mercy endureth for ever. May His name be praised.

  4. D C Venkaiah , IRSS says:

    It is an wonderful parable which the LORD JESUS said. God recieves a sinner when he comes back to him. Thank you for the sermon

  5. jordan funk says:

    The other part of the story is not told here how the older brother never accepts him back. He is to caught up in himself and his own religion, and trying to please his father for all the wrong reasons. This is like the drift wood in the church today. Going through the process for all the wrong reasons.

  6. 'ALAIPUKE says:

    Thank you for this opportunity. I am preparing a sermon on Luke 15: 11-21. I am seeking for your assistance by helping preach on the concept of the Prodigal Son being resilient from when he was really down.

    I would like to emphasize on that rpovided you would enlight me more on that idea

  7. fr. Sahayadas says:

    i am edfied by this parable for it shares with me the immense love God has for me inspite of my weaknesses

  8. solomon says:

    I would like to thank you for this site giving helps to those who are seeking and seaching sermons that fit to the working Pastors and Gods worker in His vine yard. More blessing to you all.

  9. Ptr Mon C Salting says:

    TLWCCK giving you thanks for your great sermon that you
    contribute to this world of lost souls. May the Name of our Father in heaven be glorified in Jesus name.

  10. josh says:

    thanks for new thoughts…

    may God bless you

  11. otlaadisa says:

    im encarage by this message

  12. rev sam mathew says:

    what a wonderful father I have.I praise God for His son my saviour Jesus Christ.

  13. John L. G. says:

    Thank you for the many good thoughts! We wish you God’s blessings.

  14. juliet says:

    simple,straight to the point,easy to understand ,simple mordern english used,Thank God for the writter.May God increase your knowledge.Amen.

  15. gandhi gella says:

    it is very easy to understand. useful in christian life. may GOD bless you.

  16. Benny martin says:

    Prodigal son is redefined and narrated in a different dimension. What a Sterling sermon. Thank you brother.

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