Episode 097 – Parable of the Lost Son Pt 4: Love as Letting Go

Key Passage(s): Luke 15:11-24

Sometimes people walk away from God, but few things are as painful as seeing your children walk away. Jesus’s words strike a deep chord with parents who’ve felt helpless as their children walk their own paths. Parenting is a sensitive issue and addresses the most tender place within us: our deep love for our children. In this episode, we examine the Father’s posture of heart towards a son he knows is lost in his own home. Unlike other characters in the parable, the Father doesn’t pursue his son, leaving us wondering, why doesn’t he do more? Jesus offers us a picture of risky love that doesn’t coerce, force or control, but instead, let’s go and waits expectantly with open arms.

Discussion Questions

  • What was your biggest takeaway from the teaching?
  • What is your first impulse or thought when you see someone you love making decisions that are potentially harmful to themselves?
  • The Father’s love compels him to let go of the outcome because if he tries to control, coerce, or force an agenda it will only make things worse. What are the situations, scenarios, and relationships in your life where you need to let go of the outcome?
  • Even though the Father doesn’t chase after his son, he’s still engaged. He’s waiting expectantly with open arms. What do you think it looks like to stay engaged and wait expectantly in a strained relationship?
  • How will you begin living out the truths of this teaching this week?

For Further Study

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  1. William Black February 25, 2020 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Pondering in TORAH at 81. Great job Brad.
    Bring up a child/ son
    in THE WAY…..TORAH
    and when the child is old, (about 50 in Hebrew mind)
    he/they w n depart from it.
    Might we see great “faith” as the father believed YEHOVAH, and it was accounted as “faith” / righteousness to the father?
    One sensees this, as we see Jesus the Jew,, saying, The father, in great consistent faith, watched and looked for the childs return.
    Should we not also even when our child leaves the church/Jesus?
    Course the 20,000 denominational plus presentations of Jesus, not TORAH, and the child seeing that what was promised about Jesus by the 20,000 did not work .and thus made it easy to be drawn away.
    To any pagan in hearing distance the YEHOVAH of Israel had to b worth looking into.
    Could it b that the one lost sheep are the Gentiles? For YEHOVAH SOOOO LOVED THE WORLD, not just Israel, that He, YEHOVAH GAVE….!
    FOR :
    All souls, all, are Mine….
    and I AM not wiling that ANY should perish, go into perdition!

  2. Robi Owens February 27, 2020 at 7:45 am - Reply

    As a father of three young children, this is a great message to keep in mind through out their entire life as you raise them. One thing that has stuck with me is the words of a friend and mentor of mine (he’s actually going on your Israel trip next week):

    “I no longer pray for my daughter as “my” daughter. I’ve realized that she is God’s daughter, so I pray for “our” daughter, or even “your” (God) daughter. I have discussions with our Heavenly Father on my concerns, but I trust God to raise our daughter with her best interest in mind and with more knowledge and love than I ever could”.

    • Brad Gray February 27, 2020 at 10:04 am - Reply

      That’s fantastic, Robi! Thank you so much for sharing this with us all.

  3. Crystal Lorenzo March 10, 2020 at 10:05 am - Reply

    I will look at my kiddos as ours now too. Thank you from me too Robi. Ibhave recently had to let go of two people in my life and just offer open arms if they ever need to return. Fantastic episode as always Pastor Brad.

  4. Paul December 28, 2022 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Hi Brad.
    As a father of four, I am currently dealing with my own story of “letting go” in the form of an oldest child at 28 years of age. The strength of conviction you have delivered in this series is providing me with the interpretative scriptural assurance needed. I thank you for your work!
    Warm Regards,
    P.S. – If you so desire, please check out this link to my Christian Rock Band’s original album just released:

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