15:1 Then all the tax collectors and sinners came near to listen to him.
15:2 Both the pharisees and the scribes complained. They said, “This man welcomes sinners and dines with them.”
15:3 Then Jesus told them this analogy:
15:4 “If a person has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, what person among you wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that’s lost until you find it?
15:5 When you have found it, you will carry it over your shoulders, giving thanks.
15:6 And when you return home, call together your friends and neighbors and ask them to rejoice with you because you have found the sheep that was lost.
15:7 I tell you, similarly, there is more joy in the spiritual realm over one sinner who has a change of heart than over ninety-nine righteous people who require no change of heart.
15:8 Or what woman – if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin – doesn’t light a lamp and sweep the house and search with care until she finds it?
15:9 When she’s found it, she’ll call together her friends and neighbors asking them to rejoice with her, for she has found the coin that was lost.
15:10 Similarly, I tell you, there is more joy among the angels of God over one sinner who has a change of heart.”
15:11 Then he said, “A man had two sons.
15:12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of the estate that is my inheritance.’ So he divided his wealth between them.
15:13 Not long after, the younger son gathered up his things and went traveling to a far away country. There he squandered his estate with rowdy living.
15:14 After he spent everything, a severe famine swept that country and he was impoverished.
15:15 So he began working for a local person in that country, who sent him into the fields to feed pigs.
15:16 He would have gladly filled his stomach with the husks fed to the pigs, as no one gave him anything.
15:17 When he came to his senses, he thought, ‘So many of my father’s servants have more than enough food but I am dying here with hunger.
15:18 I’ll get up and go to my father and will tell him, ‘Father, I have transgressed against heaven and before you.
15:19 No longer am I worthy to be called your son. Consider me just like one of your servants.’’
15:20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a ways away, his father saw him and was moved with compassion as he ran up and embraced him and kissed him.
15:21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have transgressed against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
15:22 But the father told his servants, ‘Quickly, bring out the best robe and put it on him. And put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet.
15:23 And bring the fattened calf to sacrifice – let’s have a feast to celebrate.
15:24 Because my son was dead and has come to life again. He was lost and has been found.’ And they started to celebrate.
15:25 Now his older son was in the field. As he approached the house he heard music and dancing.
15:26 Then he called one of the servants and asked what was going on.
15:27 He was told, ‘Your brother arrived and your father has sacrificed a fattened calf because he has returned back safe and sound.’
15:28 So the older brother became angry and didn’t want to go in. His father came out and pleaded with him.
15:29 But he responded and told his father, ‘Look, so many years I’ve been serving you and I’ve never refused your instruction. Yet you have never given me a young goat so I could rejoice with my friends.
15:30 But when this son of yours arrives – who consumed your wealth with prostitutes – you sacrifice the fattened calf for him.’
15:31 Then the father told him, ‘Son, you have always been with me and everything that is mine is yours.
15:32 Now we have to celebrate and give thanks, for this brother of yours was dead and now has begun to live. He was lost and he has now been found.’”