1 One day a large number of tax collectors and other outcasts came to listen to Jesus.
2 Pharisees and teachers of the Law complained: »This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!«
3 Then Jesus told them an illustration:
4 »If you have a hundred sheep and lose one of them, what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one you lost until you find it.
5 »When you find it you are happy. You carry it on your shoulders.
6 »You bring it back home. You invite your friends and neighbors together to celebrate. You say, I am so happy I found my lost sheep.
7 »It is the same. I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine good people who do not need to repent.
8 »Suppose a woman with ten silver coins loses one of them. What does she do? She lights a lamp and sweeps her house. She looks carefully everywhere until she finds it.
9 »When she finds it she calls her friends and says let us celebrate. I am happy I found the lost coin.
10 »I tell you, it is the same for the angels of God who rejoice over one sinner who repents.«
11 Jesus said: »A man had two sons.
12 »The younger one said to him, Father I want my share of the property. He divided his property between his two sons.
13 »In a short time the younger son sold his share of the property. He left home with the money and traveled to a far away country where he wasted his money in reckless living.
14 »He spent everything! When a famine spread over that country he was left with nothing.
15 »He went to work for a citizen of that country who sent him to his farm to take care of the pigs.
16 He wanted to eat the Carob bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat.
17 »Finally it dawned on him, my fathers hired workers have more than they can eat and I am about to starve!
18 »I will go to my father and say: Father I have sinned against God and against you.
19 »I am not fit to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired workers.
20 »He went to his father. He was a long way from home when his father saw him. His heart filled with pity. He ran and threw his arms around his son and kissed him.
21 »Father, the son said: I have sinned against God and against you. I am not fit to be called your son.
22 »The father called his servants. He said: Hurry and bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet.
23 »Get the prize calf and kill it. Let us celebrate with a feast!
24 »My son was dead. Now he is alive. He was lost. Now he has been found. The feasting began.
25 »The older son was out in the field. When he came close to the house he heard music and dancing.
26 « He asked one of the servants what was happening?
27 »Your brother returned home, the servant answered. Your father killed the prize calf because he has returned safely.
28 »The older brother was so angry he would not enter the house. His father came out and begged him to come in.
29 »He spoke to his father in anger. All these years I have worked like a slave for you. I have never disobeyed you. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends!
30 »This son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes. When he comes home you kill the prize calf for him!
31 »The father answered, »My son, you are always here. And everything I have is yours!
32 »We had to celebrate and be happy. Your brother was dead. Now he is alive! He was lost and now he has been found!«