Unit 25, Session 5: The Three Parables
In Luke 19, Jesus went after Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus was not well liked, but his interaction with Jesus led him to repent of his wrongdoing. Jesus said to him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Who is “the lost”? What does it mean to be lost? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables to the crowd of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and scribes. Jesus’ teaching brought gospel truth to the tax collectors and sinners—those whose unrighteousness separated them from God—and to the Pharisees and scribes—those whose relied on their own righteous efforts for salvation.
The first two parables are similar. In one, a man loses a sheep. He leaves his flock to find the missing sheep, and he rejoices when it is found. In the second, a woman loses a silver coin. The woman carefully searches until she finds it. Then she calls her neighbors and friends to celebrate with her. Heaven rejoices when even one sinner repents. Finally, Jesus told a parable about two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, wasted his money on immoral living, and decided to return to his father. Rather than rejecting his wayward son, the father embraced him. The older son, who had always been obedient to his father, reacted with anger.
As you read Luke 15, think about the crowd Jesus was speaking to. The focus is often placed on the younger son—the one with whom the tax collectors and sinners could identify—but Jesus also made a point about the older son. The older son was like the Pharisees and scribes, focused on his own morality and feeling entitled to his father’s favor.
The religious leaders complained that Jesus welcomed sinners. Jesus told these parables to teach about God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus so sinners can be forgiven. As Savior, Jesus seeks sinners. He paid the ultimate price—His own life—to save people from sin
Jesus taught what God is like. He seeks sinners who have wandered far from Him, and He seeks sinners who try to earn salvation by their good works. As you talk with your kids, help them understand that being lost means not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. God loves us, and He actively seeks to bring sinners to Himself.
The Three Parables
The religious leaders complained that Jesus welcomed sinners. Jesus told these parables to teach about God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus so sinners can be forgiven. As Savior, Jesus seeks sinners. He paid the ultimate price—His own life—to save people from sin.
Family Discussion Questions
- What does it mean to be lost?
• How do you feel about Jesus, knowing that He loves sinners?
• How should we treat those we think may be lost?
- Who are you most like—the younger brother who breaks the rules or the older brother who thinks rules can save him?
• How is the gospel good news for both rule breakers and rule followers?
• Pray as a family for someone you know who is far from God.
-Before the session, hide 10 coins in the room.
-Invite the kids to find the lost coins.
-You may choose to time them and see how quickly they are able to find all 10.
Great job finding those coins! Have any of you ever lost money? It can be very frustrating to misplace money. Today we will hear about a story Jesus told in which a woman searched her whole house to find just one missing coin out of ten. How would you feel if you found a lost coin?
Reach out to your neighbors and see if there is any way you can pray for them or anything they need. Serve them together as a family.