Two Lost Sons
Jon: Today, we have an epic “Would You Rather” question that might have a few squirming in their seats!
Bradon: More to the point, we will tell a story about Two Lost Sons.
Jon: And you will have an excruciatingly difficult time answering the would you rather question – so much fun.
Bradon: More importantly, we will ask you which son you relate better to.
About the Story
Bradon: We have got a great story for you today. It was first told by Jesus. It is found in Luke Chapter 11 and illustrates what we learned at our first worship service together here at Family Camp.
Jon: Yesterday, we learned the difference between Distance and Absence. Absence is the Deliberate choice to disconnect from a person or group. Our story has an example of one of these. See if you can pick it out of the story.
Bradon: This is a fundamental lesson because our understanding of God will determine how we interact with Him.
Jon: A little background is essential. Jesus was teaching a group and aimed three parables and short stories at some of the religious teachers and leaders.
Bradon: Others in the crowd had bad reputations like tax collectors.
Jon: Everybody thought that tax collectors were dishonest and collecting more than they ought and keeping some for themselves; likely, this was true for some of them.
Bradon: Each of the three stories was about something lost being found, and in the third story, Jesus took the most time and gave his listeners the most detail. Many of you will know this story as the Prodigal Son, but we have decided to call it the Lost Sons.
Jon: Lost Sons because there were two brothers and both needed to learn an important lesson!
Bradon: In the first Story, Jesus describes a shepherd going out and finding one lost sheep because the shepherd values that single sheep so much.
Jon: In the second story, Jesus describes a woman who lost a coin and searched her whole house until she found it. Then she celebrated with friends because she found the coin.
Bradon: This brings us to the third story.
Jon: Question, who was more distant from the father, the older brother, or the younger brother?
Bradon: Considering last night’s lesson and it’s a trick question, I will say the two sons were both very distant from the father.
Jon: Correct, one openly rebelled and did some awful things, and the other, while physically close to his father, didn’t have a close relationship with him. He served his father faithfully out of duty, not realizing it was his father’s intent to bless him.
Bradon: Right, the father even said to the older brother, “everything I have is your’s.” That is a big statement.
Jon: So remember the audience Jesus is speaking to. There were religious leaders, teachers, tax collectors, and other sinners!
Bradon: The sinners would be able to relate to the younger son.
Jon: And, the religious leaders would have been able to relate to the older brother.
Bradon: So, we see two lost sons, one is openly rebelling against his father, and the other is fulfilling his “duty” but missing out on the blessings of a close relationship with his father!
Jon: Neither one had it figured out, and from how Jesus tells this story, the father is grieved by both. He actually goes to both sons. As one son returns, he runs out to meet him, and everyone celebrates. The other he begs to come and celebrate and reminds him that everything the father has also belonged to the son.
Bradon: We have to take the question off the shelf. We asked what kind of father would give his son an early inheritance. I mean, it’s disrespectful and rude, not to mention bold, to ask for an early inheritance! If I were the father, I’d say no!
Jon: In this story, Jesus uses the father to represent God and how the people should relate to him. In this story, I see a father who isn’t concerned about his status, wealth or even how he is disrespected. He longs to be in a good relationship with his son.
Bradon: I like that. God is concerned about how we relate to Him. God gives us the space to choose Him. So, I guess the lesson for today is simply this who are you in this story? Are you the bitter and angry older son or the wild and crazy younger son?
Jon: That is a great question!