The Gift New Testament

A free online Bible study resource


15:1Now all the tax contractors and deviants were coming to hear him.15:2And the Pharisees and scripture scholars grumbled, “This one welcomes deviants and even eats with them!”15:3But he replied to them with a parable:

15:4“If you had a hundred sheep but lost one, which of you would not leave the 99 others out in the open and go after the lost one until you found it?15:5And when you did, you would put it on your shoulders15:6and go home happy. Then you’d call together your friends and neighbors and say, ‘Celebrate with me, because I found my lost sheep!’15:7But I tell you, this is the kind of happiness there will be in heaven whenever one deviant changes their mind, rather than the 99 who have no such need.

15:8“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins. If she loses one, won’t she light a lamp and sweep the house, looking carefully until she finds it?15:9And when she does, she will call together her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Celebrate with me, because I found the silver coin I lost!’15:10Likewise, I tell you, there is happiness in the presence of the Messengers of God on account of one deviant who changes their mind.”

15:11Then he continued: “A certain person had two sons.15:12The younger one said to him, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate’. So he divided the property between them.15:13Shortly thereafter the younger son packed all his belongings and went abroad to a far-away land. He squandered his property in extravagant living,15:14spending everything he had. But then a severe famine came upon the land, and he began to be in need.

15:15“So he got in touch with one of the local citizens, who sent him into his fields to tend hogs.15:16And he longed to be filled with the husks the pigs were fed, but no one gave him anything.15:17He finally came to his senses and said to himself, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands get plenty of food, yet here I am starving to death!15:18I will get up and go to my father and say, “Father, I have failed both heaven and you.15:19I am no longer worthy to be called your son, so please make me like one of your hired hands.”’

15:20“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still some distance away, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran toward him and greeted him fondly.15:21And the son started to say to him, ‘Father, I have failed both heaven and you an am no longer worthy to be called your son…’15:22But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quick! Get the finest robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.15:23Get the fattened calf and kill it so we can have a party!15:24For my son was dead but now lives; he was lost but now is found!’ And so the party began.

15:25“Now the older son was in the field, and as he came near the house he heard music and dancing.15:26So he called for one of the household help to find out what all this was about.15:27And they replied, ‘It’s because your brother has returned. Your father had the fattened calf killed, because your brother came back safe and sound.’15:28But the older brother was angry and refused to enter the house, so his father came out to comfort him.

15:29“But the son said to him, ‘Look, in all the years I slaved for you, I never disobeyed a single order you gave me. Yet you never even gave me a young goat for a party with my friends.15:30But when this son of yours comes back after wasting your property on hookers, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

15:31“But the father replied, ‘My child, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.15:32But we must celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead but now lives; he was lost and now is found!’ ”