Object Lessons

The Prodigal Son

Objects: Three Clothespin Dolls. One dressed to represent the youngest son as he left home; another dressed in soiled garments to picture him in the "far country"; and the third dressed in a white, beautiful garment to picture the "Best Robe."

Did any of you boys and girls ever want to run away from home because your parents were too strict?

When I was a lad, the boys in our neighborhood were allowed to do as they pleased. My mother made the children in our family obey her. Often I used to wish I could be free to do as I pleased, like the other boys. One time, especially, do I remember that I decided to run away from home. Early one morning I started out, but by supper time I was glad to Be back home. It was so good to see my mother again, and I have since learned that a mother is the best earthly friend a boy could ever have.

In God's Word, we find a story of a "younger son" who was not satisfied with his home, and so one day asked his father for the "portion of goods" that belonged to him, and soon after left home. (Luke 15:12-24.)

I can imagine the sadness in that home the day the youngest son left, can't you?

The Word says he journeyed into a "far country" and there wasted his substance in "riotous living." (Give details of story. Display clothes-pin doll, wearing soiled, black clothes.) This is the way the youngest son may have looked after he had been in the far country awhile.

Finally, after all of his possessions were gone, "he came to himself" and remembered his home and his father. "I will arise and go to my father," he said.

And so I'm glad to tell you that he turned his face toward home. But what a spectacle he must have made! His hands were empty; his clothes, no doubt torn and soiled; but, despite the way he looked nor the way he had done, his father still loved him, and day by day no doubt had waited at the gate of the old home, hoping for a glimpse of his younger son returning.

And one day his faith and hopes were rewarded,—the younger son was seen in the distance. The father ran to meet him and welcome him home. Imagine the meeting, boys and girls! The son tried to tell his father something of his life in the "far country." "I have sinned . . ." he said; but the father only commanded the servant to bring the BEST ROBE for the son; a ring for his hand and shoes for his feet, and to prepare a great feast, for said he: "This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." "And they began to be merry." Dressed in the clothes of his father's providing this is the way he must have looked. (Display doll dressed in beautiful robe.) What a transformation! Soiled garments changed for beautiful white ones.

And so the Heavenly Father' waits to welcome home the wandering boy, for, worse 'than leaving one's earthly loved ones, sad as that is, is to turn one's back upon God and His love, and travel into a "far country."

But as the father received the younger son joyfully and gladly, so the Heavenly Father will receive any wandering boy or girl who will come to Him with the heart cry of the younger son: “I have sinned."

The Lord Jesus died on the cross to purchase a robe of righteousness as pure and holy as His own, which becomes the possession of anyone who receives Him as Saviour. "The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanseth us from all unrighteousness."—I John 1:7.

If you have received the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, boys and girls, God sees you clothed in a beautiful robe of His providing, and you may truly say, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness."—Isa. 61:10.

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