The Parable of the Prodigal Son centers around the younger of two sons who turns his back on his father and his family to pursue his own freedom and happiness. His journey of rebellion, self-destruction, awakening, return, and redemption represents the very heart of the Gospel. But this story is not merely an illustration of the Father’s love for us, it is an invitation to find ourselves in the story and return home to the Father.

Have you ever wandered away from God? What caused you wandering? What were you after? How did you return home?

Read Luke 15:11-13. What does it tell you about what the younger son was after? What do you think he was hoping to find in these things?

The parable tells us that the son “gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country.” Why do you think his pursuits required him to go so far from home? Do you see a connection between the things his heart desired and his physical proximity to his father?

Read Luke 15:14-16. What were the results of the younger son’s choices? What does it tell us about the destination of his path?

Read Luke 15:17-19. What do you think caused the younger son to “come to his senses?” What does the speech he prepares reveal about what he believes about his father and himself?

Read Luke 15:20-24. What does the son receive from his father? What does he give? What does this tell us about the Father?