What does it mean?
1. What was the context in which Jesus told this parable?
2. Jesus mentions 2 brothers in verse 11. Jesus doesn’t mention the older brother until verse 25. Why do you think?
3. Jesus doesn’t tell us what the older brother was feeling when he discovered his brother’s return, but what do you think is implied from the story?
4. What is implied about the older brother’s attitude toward his younger brother?
5. What is implied about the older brother’s attitude towards his dad?
6. What is the father’s rationale for having a party for the younger brother? What is Jesus trying to convey?
7. Does the older brother go in to the party?
8. Why do you think Jesus ends the parable where He does? What’s His point?
9. How would you summarize the meaning of this parable?
10. If you could title this parable, what would your title be?
How does it apply?
1. Do you feel more like the prodigal or the older brother? Explain.
2. Do you ever feel even a little superior to those who do not treasure Jesus? Be bold. When and why do you think?
3. Have you ever felt like the older brother you felt that God was being unfair to you? Describe what happened. How did you resolve it?
4. When did you realize you could not earn God’s favor? How did you learn that?
5. Does your Christian life feel like a “party”? Why or why not?
6. Who have you known that it seems as though their Christian life is a “party”? What did you notice about them?
7. Is there anything you could do that you believe would help you more fully enjoy God’s party?