God’s Grace Contrasted with Man’s Self-righteousness
Parable of the Lost Sheep (15:1-7)
1 And all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near to him to hear him; 2 and the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them. 3 And he spoke to them this parable, saying, 4 What man of you having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 and having found it, he lays it upon his own shoulders, rejoicing; 6 and being come to the house, calls together the friends and the neighbours, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep. 7 I say unto you, that thus there shall be joy in heaven for one repenting sinner, more than for ninety and nine righteous who have no need of repentance.
Parable of the Lost Coin (15:8-10)
8 Or, what woman having ten drachmas, if she lose one drachma, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek carefully till she find it? 9 and having found it she calls together the friends and neighbours, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost. 10 Thus, I say unto you, there is joy before the angels of God for one repenting sinner.
Parable of the Lost Son (15:11-32)
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons; 12 and the younger of them said to his father, Father, give to me the share of the property that falls to me. And he divided to them what he was possessed of. 13 And after not many days the younger son gathering all together went away into a country a long way off, and there dissipated his property, living in debauchery. 14 But when he had spent all there arose a violent famine throughout that country, and he began to be in want. 15 And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he longed to fill his belly with the husks which the swine were eating; and no one gave to him. 17 And coming to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have abundance of bread, and “I” perish here by famine. 18 I will rise up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he rose up and went to his own father. But while he was yet a long way off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell upon his neck, and covered him with kisses. 21 And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee; I am no longer worthy to be called thy son. 22 But the father said to his bondmen, Bring out the best robe and clothe him in it, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry: 24 for this my son was dead and has come to life, was lost and has been found. And they began to make merry. 25 And his elder son was in the field; and as, coming up, he drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And having called one of the servants, he inquired what these things might be. 27 And he said to him, Thy brother is come, and thy father has killed the fatted calf because he has received him safe and well. 28 But he became angry and would not go in. And his father went out and besought him. 29 But he answering said to his father, Behold, so many years I serve thee, and never have I transgressed a commandment of thine; and to me hast thou never given a kid that I might make merry with my friends: 30 but when this thy son, who has devoured thy substance with harlots, is come, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 But he said to him, Child, “thou” art ever with me, and all that is mine is thine. 32 But it was right to make merry and rejoice, because this thy brother was dead and has come to life again, and was lost and has been found.