|Luke 15 |
1 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 Then Jesus spoke this parable to them, saying,
4 "What man of you who has a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls his friends and neighbors together saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'
7 I tell to you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety nine righteous people who need no repentance.
8 Or what woman who has ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and her neighbors together saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.'
10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
11 The Parable of the Prodigal Son:
Then he said, "A certain man had two sons;
12 And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me that part of the estate that is mine.' So he divided the estate between them.
13 Not many days after that, the younger son gathered all that he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he wasted his wealth in wild living.
14 And when he had spent everything, there was a mighty famine in that land, and he was in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the husks that the swine ate, but no man gave him anything.
17 And when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have food to spare, and I am perishing of hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,
19 And am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me one of your hired servants.'
20 So he got up and went to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 But the father said to his servants, 'Bring the best robe and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet.
23 And bring the fatted calf and kill it; and let us eat and be merry,
24 For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants and asked what it meant.
27 And he replied to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 Then he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.
29 And he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have served you and have never disobeyed you at any time; yet you have never even given me a kid, so that I might make merry with my friends.
30 But as soon as this son of yours arrived, who has wasted your living with harlots,1 you killed the fatted calf for him.'
31 And the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.
32 But it was right that we should make merry and be glad. For your brother was dead and is alive again! He was lost and is found!'"
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1 But as soon as this son of yours arrived, who has wasted your living with harlots... Edward Burrough in his testimony of his journey to the kingdom testified that he had lived among harlots, (those who loved the pride, things, and pleasures of world), which gives us insight to the true meaning of this parable: we are all Prodigal Sons! Each of us was given an inheritance from our heavenly father, our Talent, a measure of the Spirit of God, the light given to every man that comes into the world. Each of us has wasted that talent as we pursue other lovers, (harlots), (i.e., clothes, toys, cars, electronics, wine, women, song, houses, spas, make-up, taste sensations, drugs, exotic vacations, money, power, sports, etc.). As Burrough further wrote: "the good and faithful servant improves his talent to the honor and riches of his master, but the slothful servant hides it in the earth, living in filthiness, saying he has no power." Some of us wake up and realize that the only thing the world has to offer is pig fodder; we cannot find satisfaction; we lose hope of finding satisfaction with anything the world offers; WE HAVE HAD A LIFE-SHATTERING EXPERIENCE, and so we turn to God. Then, long before we have arrived in His presence, He meets us still immersed in our sins, still far into the world; and though we are totally undeserving of His favor, by grace He gives to us from His treasures of wisdom,* long before we have reached home. We are all Prodigal Sons!
* From the Word of the Lord within: "All wisdom that God shows is significantly less than His."
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