- 1 The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him,
- but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
- So to them he addressed this parable.
- "What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
- And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
- and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.'
- I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
- "Or what woman having ten coins 2 and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?
- And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, 'Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.'
- In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
- Then he said, "A man had two sons,
- and the younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.' So the father divided the property between them.
- After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation.
- When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need.
- So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine.
- And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
- Coming to his senses he thought, 'How many of my father's hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger.
- I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
- I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers."'
- So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him.
- His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.'
- But his father ordered his servants, 'Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
- Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast,
- because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' Then the celebration began.
- Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing.
- He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean.
- The servant said to him, 'Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
- He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him.
- He said to his father in reply, 'Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends.
- But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.'
- He said to him, 'My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours.
- But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.'"
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Footnotes1 [1-32] To the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7) that Luke shares with Matthew (Matthew 18:12-14), Luke adds two parables (the lost coin, Luke 15:8-10; the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32) from his own special tradition to illustrate Jesus' particular concern for the lost and God's love for the repentant sinner.
2 Ten coins: literally, "ten drachmas." A drachma was a Greek silver coin.
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