Friday Forum: The parables of Luke 15

Image credit: Liz Lemon Swindle

Image credit: Liz Lemon Swindle

 In a recent stake priesthood leadership training session I attended, one topic of discussion was the parables in Luke 15.

I love all of the parables from this chapter, but my favorite of the three is the story of the prodigal son.

For today’s discussion, I am curious to know your thoughts on the following:

  • Who was the intended audience for the parables? Was it just the Pharisees and scribes? Or did He intend for the publicans and sinners to learn something from the parables as well?
  • How do the parables relate to the overall mission of the church?
  • Do you find any special significance to the church in any of the parables?
  • How do the parables tie together? Is there any significance to the order in which they are told?
  • And anything else you want to discuss about these parables.

4 thoughts on “Friday Forum: The parables of Luke 15

  1. The prodigal son parable is certainly meant for everyone–much like Adam and Eve represent the everyman, the prodigal son, separated from his father, represents all of us, as all of us are separated from our Father in Heaven.

  2. One interesting note on the parable of the prodigal son:

    20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    The father was obviously looking for his son. The verse talks about the son being “a great way off”, but the father was able to see and recognize his son.

    What father or mother being separated from their children would not anxiously await for their return? I know I would probably spend a lot of time scanning the horizon for my lost child.

    I love Liz Lemon Swindle’s depiction of the father and the prodigal son. She has captured a great deal of raw emotion in her painting.

  3. Though we all can (and rightly should) see ourselves as the prodigal son, we should also, as parents, as friends, as leaders or teachers in the church, put ourselves in the place of the father. The parable teaches wonderful lessons about the way that we should act in response to the (other) prodigals among us.

  4. I love the parables. I see all us in our variety of circumstances in them.

    Lost Sheep Parable-For some of us, we lose our way because of our own wandering. Our actions are not premeditated, just part of the journey of life. We must intentionally seek after these people and return the to the fold.

    Lost Coin-for these individuals, someone else is responsible for their being lost. We must be extra diligent in finding and bringing back these lost souls.

    Prodigal Son- The son intentionally lost himself. Still, despite his actions we must forgive, receive and accept them happily back into the fold/family. The Elder Son is an interesting study. Always trustworthy and the heir to all his father has; he is nevertheless jealous at the public attention given to his brother.

    More detail and attention is given to the Prodigal Son Parable. I think because many of us are the Elder Son and we need to recognize joy in receiving the Prodigal Son back into the family. Many of us are the Prodigal Son and we need to feel that we will be loved and accepted despite our sins. We need to feel that we can truly repent and receive forgiveness.

    Thanks Brian, it is good to think about the parables and what they mean for us in our lives.

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