Luke 15.11-32. Freedoms (Lent 4)

We see protests and hear leaders speak about our right to pursue freedom but we rarely stop to consider the context in which freedom needs to operate. If we did we would learn that freedom is more complex than we think not the least because we have different ideas of the freedom we want. Some pursue freedom by leaning towards chaos (creativity, experiment), others through order (responsibility, diligence). Yet according to Jesus in this parable, both paths will leave us lost because the freedom we were created for works only in the shock and outrage of God’s grace. [Audio | Notes]

Michael Flynn


Luke 15.11-32 | Freedoms

For further thought

Two ways we seek freedom

– The radical

– The conservative

Parables of loss and joy

The radical wasted life [verses 13-17]

– freedom on his own terms

A radically restored life [18-24]

A resentful conservative life [25-32]

– freedom through responsibility

Will we be a child or a slave?

Q: Do you tend to seek freedom in creativity and pressing against the boundaries or in pursuing order and responsibility?

Q: In this parable, why can’t either pursuit of freedom save us? What are their strengths and limitations?

Q: It is sometimes said we can walk 1000 steps away from God but it is only ever one step back to him. How does this describe God’s grace?

Q: What makes God’s grace unjust to some?

Q: What is the difference between being a child of God or being enslaved by our pursuit of freedom?