The Prodigal Son

Did you know...

that God is happy when someone turns to Him?

This story is about the parable of the prodigal son. The word prodigal describes spending money or valuables freely and carelessly, wasting them on things that are not really needed or important.

The Pharisees and teachers of religious law complained that Jesus was spending time with sinners.  To explain this, Jesus told this parable:

There once was a man who had two sons. The younger son asked his father to give him what money and things he would inherit now.

man divides wealth

The man divided his property between his two sons. A few days later the younger son packed all his belongings and traveled far away. There he wasted all his wealth on wild living.

About the same time that his money ran out, there came a great famine and soon he had nothing to eat because he had no money left to buy anything.


The younger son went and found himself a job working in the fields feeding pigs. He was so hungry that he was ready to eat the same food the pigs were eating. Then he thought about his father’s servants who were all well fed. He made the decision to go back to his father and ask him if he could be one of his father’s servants.

feeding pigs

The younger son returned home. The father saw him coming in the distance and felt sorry for him. The father ran to his younger son and kissed him and welcomed him.

The son answered, “Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and in your eyes, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.”

father greets son

But the father told his servants to bring out the best robe and put it on his son. He put a ring on his hand and fine shoes onto his feet. He killed the best calf and had a celebration. The father said, “This son of mine was dead, and is alive again. He was lost but now is found.” And they celebrated.


Meanwhile, the older son had been working in the fields. When he returned home he heard the music and dancing and wondered what was going on. One of the servants told him, “Your brother is back. Your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back, safe and sound.  We are celebrating.”


The older son was angry and did not want to go into the house, so his father came outside and pleaded with him to come in. The older son said to his father, “All these many years I’ve worked hard for you, never at any time disobeying anything you’ve told me to do. You have never given me a party, but as soon as your other son comes, who’s wasted all your money, you celebrate with him.”

The father said to his older son, “Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. We have to celebrate this happy day. Your brother was lost, and now he’s found.”

prodigal son

Think about it - Is this story the same or different from the one about the lost sheep and the lost silver?

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Bible lesson activities

Learning Activity Extensions

Read the story in the Bible:  Luke 15:11-32
Courtesy of, download and colour, or colour online:
Prodigal son
Father greets prodigal son

Diary of a Disciple:  Luke's Story -
The Prodigal Son

Zebtoonz  (3:04 min)

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