A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: The Prodigal Son


This story, again found only in Luke is one of three all illustrating the theme of God's mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost/ prodigal son. The story centres on the younger of two sons who demands his inheritance early then squanders it on a life of debauchery, until he finds himself penniless in a famine-stricken land. Eventually, he comes to his senses and returns home to ask his father's The prodigal son returnsforgiveness, hoping to be taken on as a servant. Instead, his father greets him rapturously and throws a huge party to celebrate his homecoming. The elder brother, meanwhile, on hearing the noise of merrymaking is outraged at his father's action and refuses to go in. His father urges him to do so, reminding him that he is equally loved. The story illustrates the joy of God the father at the return of a repentant child from the 'far country' of sin and alienation.

Related Topics

Big ideas: Forgiveness, mercy and grace

Bible References

Luke 15:11-32
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