Read Luke 15:11b-32 with your family.
Jesus told this teaching story, called a parable, to those around him. He told about two sons, one who wanted his inheritance and wanted to leave the family to do his own thing, and the other son who stayed home and did what he was expected to do.
This might not seem like a strange story to us, but if we lived in the time of Jesus first followers, the behaviour of the first son would have been awful to hear about. First, he shouldn’t have inherited anything until his father died – you didn’t ask for money before then. It was very insulting to do that. Second, when the youngest son lost all his money and wanted to come home, he used the words that Pharaoh had used with Moses in the Exodus story, so they he wasn’t even sincere about feeling guilty. And third, when he got home he took all the special things his father did for him without saying he didn’t deserve it. The youngest son really didn’t repent.
The oldest son was angry and hurt. He had worked hard for his father. He hadn’t asked for anything, and he never had a big feast to share with his friends. His father realized the oldest son needed special treatment too.
Sometimes we forget to thank those who are always quietly doing the things that need to get done. We get caught up in the excitement of a party and forget that most good things in life are just slowly worked on, not getting attention.
In this story there were two lost sons, the selfish younger brother and the hurting quiet brother. The father had a lot of work to do to show both of his sons that they were important.