The Prodigal Son Summary

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The Prodigal Son summary for kids; or The Parable of the Compassionate Father, The Prodigal Son who was Saved, and the Elder Brother; is a text from the Bible (Luke 15: 11-32). This is one of the three parables (the other two being- the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin) where Jesus reveals what being lost is, how heaven is joyous with the return of the mislaid, and that the loving father is always there to save you. The audiences whom Jesus referred to here were the scribes and Pharisees, they blamed Jesus that he was uniting with the tax collectors and the sinners (Luke 15:1-2).


“The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them” Luke 15:12.

The Prodigal Son Summary

Story of The Prodigal Son summary: The story is about a father and his two sons; it begins on a note where the younger of the two sons asks his father to give him his share of the property. (The important point to keep in mind while reading the story is that the story is from an era when asking your father for the share from the estate was taken as an insult because it meant you want him dead.) The father doesn’t question his son’s demand and executes it by dividing his property into two parts and giving his younger son his part. The younger son after getting what he wanted leaves his father, with all his belongings to live in a far-away place.

In the distant country with no one to guide the son, he splurges his money irrelevantly, and without any thought about the future, he ends up spending all he had. Meanwhile, a famine hits the country and the son has now nothing left with him, no money and no place to go to. He has no face to return to his father after his misconduct, he fears that his father must have disowned him for his greedy actions in the past. With no options left he works as a swineherd in a field, feeding pigs, which have comparatively a better life than him. Mention of pigs here is of great significance as pigs for Jews were something so filthy that one should never be associated with them. Though the situation was degrading the son had no other work at hand, he had to feed the pigs to earn the very small amount that he could, and the income was meager, he barely had enough to provide for himself. It leads to a condition where he envied the pigs and could eat their food. He reminiscences of the time where he ponders


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‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 

This finality of the moment, where he had stooped so low, got him to the realization that it was only his father who could help him. And thus he begins his journey back to his father.

The son was on the way reaching his home when his father saw him coming and ran up to him openly hugging him in his arms. The son was perplexed at this site, and he tried explaining his father about his sorrows, and that he seeks his forgiveness. On the other hand, his father was too overjoyed to finally have his son back that he did not let him speak. The father excitedly called for his servants and ordered them to bring him a fine pair of slippers and robe to wear; he called for a celebration in the name of the event of his younger sons return back to home. The feast was to be commenced with the cooking of a fattened calf. Watching all this was a complete surprise for the son, as he had not expected such a welcome. But for his father in his own words “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found”. It was a miracle that had come true.

This news was all over the place and hence reaches to the elder son, who had been working in the fields meanwhile, and he is not impressed with this site when he returns back home after the long day of work at the field. He is disappointed with his father for treating the younger son generously, after all, that he put them through. The elder brother gets angry with the father and demands for an explanation, he wants to know that instead of shunning the younger son as was appropriate according to his misconducts, why was his return being celebrated? He asks the old man, that he who has been working hard day and night all around the year was never allowed any kind of luxury, let alone kill, a goat to be feasted on; he served his father with all he had and never disrespected his commands; was he not valuable to his father?

“My son, the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and found” Luke 15:31-32.

His father explained him stating that he is dear to him and loved by him no less than he loves the younger brother, but his younger son was misled and it was a joyous occasion that he is now back on the right path. It was actually a celebration of good over the evil and the fact that a person is always welcome in his father’s home where all kinds of repentance are accepted.

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