Tax Collectors and Sinners Follow Jesus
(1) Now many tax collectors and sinners were crowding around to hear Jesus. (2) But the Pharisees and teachers of the law of Moses complained, “Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
The Parable of a Lost Sheep
Luke 15:3-7 (Matthew 18:10-14)
(3) Then Jesus told this parable (story): (4) “Suppose someone has 100 sheep and loses one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the 99 sheep in the field and search for the one lost sheep until he finds it? (5) And when he finds the lost sheep, he puts it on his shoulders rejoicing (6) and goes home. Then he calls together his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’
(7) “In the same way, I tell you the truth: There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents and turns to God than over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.”
The Parable of a Lost Coin
Jesus told this parable (story): (8) “Suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one of them. Wouldn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house, and look everywhere until she finds it? (9) And when she finds the lost coin, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost coin!’
(10) “In the same way, I tell you the truth: There is rejoicing in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents and turns to God.”
The Parable of a Lost Son
Jesus told this parable (story): (11) “There was a man who had two sons. (12) The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate. ’ So the father divided his property between his two sons.
(13) “Not long after that, the younger son took all that he owned, and went on a journey to a faraway country where he wasted his wealth in sinful living. (14) After he spent all his money, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in desperate need. (15) So he went and was hired by a citizen of that country to feed the pigs in the field. (16) He became so hungry that he even wanted to eat the pigs’ food, but no one gave him anything.
(17) “When the son realized that his life had hit bottom, he said, ‘My father’s hired servants have plenty of food to eat, but here I am starving to death! (18) I will go back to my father and tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. (19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son, so just make me one of your hired servants.” ’ (20) So the son left and was on his way back to his father.
“But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to meet his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (21) The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven (God) and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (22) But the father told his servants, ‘Go! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. (23) Bring the well-fed calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. (24) For my son was dead, but now he lives again; he was lost, but now he is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
(25) “Meanwhile, the older son was working in the field. When he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (26) So he called one of the servants and asked him why everyone was celebrating. (27) He said to him, ‘Your younger brother has come home, and your father has killed the well-fed calf because his son is back home safe and sound.’ (28) The older brother became very angry and refused to go into the house and join the celebration. So his father went outside and pleaded with him. (29) But the older son told his father, ‘Look! I’ve worked slaving for you many years, and I have done everything you have told me to do. But you never gave me even a young goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. (30) But when this son of yours who after wasting all your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill a well-fed calf for him!’
(31) “The father said to him, ‘My son, you are always with me and everything I own is yours. (32) But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and is now alive again. He was lost, but now he is found.’ ”