The Pharisees and scribes complain that Jesus welcomes sinners. So he tells them three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son.
all the tax collectors and sinners. When they meet Jesus Christ, society’s outcasts feel as though he cares about them and wants what is best for them.
How would today’s outcasts from society feel around us? How would they feel at our churches? They would probably feel judged and rejected.
VERSE 2. The Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.”
This man welcomes sinners. The Pharisees had crafted for themselves a culture of contempt for “sinners.” Jesus is not a member of their man-made society. Nor does he conform to it.
VERSE 3. He told them this parable.
VERSE 4. “Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it?
Which of you men. In our observation, men are usually quicker to condemn other people than women are.
in the wilderness. Some translations say “desert.”
VERSE 5. When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
VERSE 6. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
VERSE 7. I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
joy in heaven. The joy of those in heaven can change. They become ecstatic when a sinner repents.
VERSE 8. Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it?
ten drachma coins. A drachma was a Greek silver coin.
VERSE 9. When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’
VERSE 10. Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.”
joy in the presence of the angels. The joy of those in heaven can change. They become ecstatic when a sinner repents.
VERSE 11. He said, “A certain man had two sons.
VERSE 12. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ He divided his livelihood between them.
VERSE 13. Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living.
VERSE 14. When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.
VERSE 15. He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
to feed pigs. Some translations say “tend the swine.”
VERSE 16. He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any.
VERSE 17. But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger!
VERSE 18. I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.
VERSE 19. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.” ’
VERSE 20. “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
moved with compassion. The father is filled with compassion. He is a model of the compassion of God the Father for us.
VERSE 21. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
VERSE 22. “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
the best robe. The father gave the son the best clothing available. Similarly, God the Father “clothes” us with Jesus Christ:
Luke 15:22. But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
Romans 13:14. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, for its lusts.
2 Corinthians 5:2. For most certainly in this we groan, longing to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
Galatians 3:27. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
let’s eat, and celebrate. A great moment must be celebrated!
VERSE 24. for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.
they began to celebrate. The kingdom of God is a constant celebration. People are always throwing a party. They are always making merry!
VERSE 25. “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
VERSE 26. He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on.
VERSE 27. He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’
VERSE 28. But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him.
VERSE 29. But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
VERSE 30. But when this your son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
VERSE 31. “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
VERSE 32. But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ ”
it was appropriate to celebrate. That is, “we must celebrate.” A great moment must be celebrated!
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.