The Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son, or wasteful, son is found in the New Testament of the Bible. It tells of a man and his two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, moved to another country, and spent all his money. Once all his money was spent, the younger son was close to starvation. Finally he decided to return to his father. He felt that his father owed him nothing, since he treated his father ungratefully. He planned to ask his father for a job as a servant.

As the son approached the farm, his father saw him and ran to greet him. The father had the servants bring fine robes for his son and prepare a feast.

The older son, who had stayed on the farm, was angry about this. He pointed out that he had always obeyed his father and worked hard, but his father had never thrown a party for him. The father replied, “Son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice! This brother of yours was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:31-32)

What do you think is the message of this parable?

Society and Christian Teachings

  • What are four moral principals that are considered universal?
  • What are three examples of what could be considered violations of natural law?
  • What is a Christian approach to deciding whether to obey or disobey civil laws?
  • Detail an account of civil disobedience. Write about what prompted the civil disobedience, the rationale of the dissenters, and whether you agree or not with their action.
  • List the Beatitudes
    • What are four other moral guidelines for living the law of love from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount?
  • Rewrite the Ten Commandments so that they express only positive ideals. For example, “you shall not kill” could be expressed as “protect human life.”
  • Rewrite as a contemporary story the parable of the prodigal son or the parable of the good Samaritan.