Parable of the Lost Son

Jesus told this story show how God feels about sinners who ask for His forgiveness

Before You Listen

After you listen

Memory Verse

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Audio Icon   Luke 15:24



Jesus told parables to show people what the Kingdom of Heaven is like. His audience was everyone in earshot. In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories of things that are lost. At the end of the three parables, Jesus describes the celebration that happens when a sinner who has repented comes into God’s presence.

The self-righteous group of “Pharisees and teachers of law” heard that there will be “more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” They could tell that Jesus was comparing them to the older son who had complained about the banquet for his recently-returned brother. How would they have received Jesus’ message?

The second group were the “tax collectors and sinners,” who Jesus had spent time visiting. When these folks heard the stories, they knew that God celebrated them, repentant sinners turning to God. How would they have received Jesus’ message?

Finally, the disciples and bystanders heard that God gives his people second chances. Jesus gave “Kingdom of Heaven” examples of mercy and forgiveness available to all who repent and believe. How would they have received Jesus’ message?

Today, pray to God and ask for a second chance and be forgiven. That’s not a one time offer. Throughout your life, you can continue to pray to God the words of the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6: 9-13) “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

Want to dig deeper and learn more about God’s forgiveness? Check out Matthew 6:14-15, Isaiah 1:18, and Psalm 103:10-12.


Create your own paper coin, like the one found by the woman or the one given away by the young son. Write the word “forgive” on the front and “mercy” on the back. Keep it in your wallet, purse, or other safe place. When you come across it, see it as a reminder to give and receive the forgiveness that God is giving you.