Summary: Our attitude toward soul-winning


* This whole chapter is a parable, but in three stories. * Lost sheep - represent lost sinners;

* Lost coin - represents lost talents; * Lost son - represents lost fellowship.

* Although three stories are involved, they all have the same meaning. * However, the elder

brother represents the scribes and the Pharisees of whom Jesus was speaking to.

* The reason for this parable is because of the criticism Jesus was receiving in v.1-2.

* Note four possibilities that existed in the life of the elder brother, and in the life of the scribes

and Pharisees, and could very well exist in your life and mine.


* The younger brother went, but the elder brother stayed at home - v.29

A) This is the condition of some people; they’re in church, but they’re out of Christ.

* They’ve been starched and ironed, but have never been washed in the blood of Christ!

* So you don’t have to be in the far country to be away from the Father!

* Heb. 4:2 "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word ......."

* Heb. 5:11 "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye ......."


* He was mistaken in what his father wanted!

* He thought his main interest was in his flocks and fields, but it wasn’t!

* His primary concern was his sons and their fellowship with him!

* The father would’ve given all that he possessed to have his sons at home and in right relation-

ship with him! * This should tell us something very important!

A) Our fellowship with Christ is more important that our service for Him!

* Look at Mark 3:14. * Jesus ordained twelve for two reasons.

* "That they should be with Him" - that’s fellowship! * "... send them forth ..." - that’s service!

B) The lesson is: God wants us to spend time with Him! * Standards for leaders .......

* I had rather have leaders who couldn’t recognize their names written across the side of a

barn in red paint; but who live a clean life, and know the Lord and is filled with the Spirit ...;

* And who spends time with God, than one who had more degrees than a thermometer,

* And was as carnal as a hog! * If I had to choose between fellowship and service,

* God would have me spend more time with Him! * You can’t fellowship too much with God!

* If the fellowship is right, the service will be right!


* The elder son was heir to all his father had,

* But he was unhappy - v.31. * Inside the house, there was music, there was eating,

* There was rejoicing, there was singing, and there was laughing.

* But out there in the yard, there was a boy sitting alone with a frown on his face.

A) His problem goes back to his fellowship! * His fellowship was with his friends,

* Not with his father! * V.26-28, he had to ask a hired servant the secret to happiness!

B) Having things doesn’t bring happiness! * You may have everything you’ve ever wanted,

* But without Jesus, you don’t have anything! * Those things will fade away, Jesus wont!

* We get too busy for God sometimes and we lose our fellowship with Him!


* Just like the scribes and Pharisees, the elder son prided himself with being straight in his

doctrine, strict in his living, v.29, But he had no use for his own brother!

* He was a poor brother and it sticks out in this chapter! * Note v.17-"Younger brother came to

himself" * That’s the key to repentance!

A) "... bread enough and to spare ..." * That is good F.W.B. doctrine!

* There is love enough, grace enough, mercy enough, power enough to change every sinner in

the world and still have enough for me to live on!

B) The younger brother realized this! * Paraphrase him coming home in v.18-20.

* Everyday, the father would have the supper table set in hopes of his son coming home.

* The elder brother, seeing no need for all the food on the table. (all we done to our building)

C) He sat there, meal after meal with no concern for his own brother.

* He probably even complained to his father about his brother saying, "Well, it’s his own fault."

* Gal. 6:1 "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore ......."

D) Let me tell you why he was a poor brother! * Every meal he ate, there was an empty place.

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