Hi all! This month we are learning about the things Jesus taught. Today’s story is another parable (a story meant to teach us something).
This story is form Luke 15:11-32.
This is the story of the prodigal son. Prodigal means to spend money wastefully and extravagantly.
Jesus was teaching the people one day about how much God loves us. He told the people this parable.
“There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’” (When a father would die, he would leave money and land to his children, but this younger brother didn’t want to wait until the father died. He demanded his money NOW!)
“Not long after that, the boy got together all he had and went far away to a place where he quickly spent all his money. He made bad friends and bad choices and he wasted his money on silly things. After a while he was completely out of money and had no food, so he went and got a job in the fields feeding pigs. He was so hungry he even wanted to eat what the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything! When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against you. I know I am no longer worthy to be called your son; but please make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.”
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was SO happy to see him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him! The boy said to him, ‘Father, I have done a bad thing and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
“Meanwhile, the older brother was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he asked one of the servants what was going on. ‘Your brother has come home,’ he replied, ‘and your father has made a feast of all the best food because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and said to his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been working hard for you and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you never threw ME a party!”
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Jesus told the people this story to show them what God is like. Sometimes WE act like the younger brother. We want to live life our own way and do our thing. But when we decide we don’t need God, that can get us into big trouble. We DO need God to take care of us. The young man realized he made some bad choices and he felt so sorry he decided he wasn’t good enough to be the man’s son anymore…but MAYBE he could just work as a servant, at least then he would have food to eat! This is like when we are sorry for OUR bad choices and we humble ourselves before God and ask Him to please forgive us.
And does God say, “Ok. You messed up big time, but I guess you can serve me?” No! He RUNS to us! God is so SO happy when we tell Him we need Him. He is SO happy when someone comes to Him and asks Him to forgive them. We are supposed to die forever for our bad choices, but when we come to God and He saves us, we then get forever life with Him! THAT is a good reason to celebrate! We are lost without God, but found again when we give our hearts and lives to Him.
And what about the older brother? He said “You never threw me a party!” And the daddy said, “But you could have one anytime! Every blessing I have I share with you!” And when we are God’s children, He says He will share His blessings with us. It makes God very happy to share all His creation with us. God is a good father to us. He cares for us, loves us, saves us, and shares everything He has made with us. And He also celebrates SO much when someone decides they want Him in their hearts!
For our craft today we made circle stories. For this we used 2 paper plates and a pipe cleaner (but if you have one of the gold bracket things, that would work well too!)
We cut the plates to be two circles and on one plate we drew two lines dividing the circles into 4 parts. We drew each part of the story in the 4 sections.
Section 1 we drew the boy taking a bag of money
Our text reads “The boy took his money and left home”
Section 2 we drew the boy, some angry friends and some money/dollar signs
Our text reads “He made bad friends and spent all his money”
Section 3 we drew a pig
Our text reads “He had to live with pigs”
Section 4 we drew the very happy daddy
Our text reads “He went home and said ‘sorry’ and his daddy was SO happy! He forgave him like God loves and forgives us.
Then we took the other circle and cut 1/4 of it away (so it looks like pacman). We wrote on the top “The Prodigal Son, Luke 15, A story about God’s love and forgiveness”
Then we poked a hole in the middle of each circle and ran a pipe cleaner through it smushing up the ends. Now the top will spin around to reveal the story.
This video is from the Beginner’s Bible (it’s longer than most at about 26 minutes, but very thorough).
This is a really cute video of a social media retelling (appropriate for older kids who can read) posted by TMCYouthChannel.
And here is Prodigal by Casting Crowns posted by Mckayla Henderson.
Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!