The Prodigal Son
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Jesus loved to tell people about God’s forgiveness. But Jewish leaders complained about His friendship with sinners. So Jesus told three stories to show that God is happy when sinners are sorry for their sins.
The first story was about a man with a hundred sheep. One got lost. Right away the shepherd left the ninety-nine and went out to find the missing sheep.
The shepherd searched and searched until he found the sheep. Then he put it on his shoulders and carried it home joyfully. He told his friends, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!”
Jesus explained that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. To repent means to be sorry for our sins – sorry enough to quit.
Jesus’s next story was about a lady who had ten silver coins, perhaps her whole life savings. An awful thing happened. She lost one of her coins.
Sweep! Sweep! Sweep! The lady looked everywhere.
Finally she found the lost coin. She was very happy. Can you guess what she did? Yes, she told all her friends!
Again Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
The third story Jesus told was the saddest. It spoke of a boy who left his father’s home.
In a far country the boy spent his money foolishly. Now what could he do? To make matters worse, a famine came. The boy could starve to death.
Desperate with hunger, the boy got a job feeding pigs. But no one feed him. He would have eating the pig’s food gladly. Perhaps he did!
Finally, the boy came to his senses. “Back home, even the servants eat well,” he thought.
“I’ll go home and tell Father I’m sorry for my sins. I’m not worthy to be his son anymore. I hope he’ll hire me as a servant.”
While the boy was still a long way from home, his father saw him coming. Joyously, the father ran to his returning son. He kissed the boy, and hugged him.
“Father, I have sinned. I’m not worthy to be your son.” The boy wanted to ask his father to hire him as a servant. But Father interrupted. “Bring the best robe, sandals, and a ring for my son. And prepare for a great party.”
There was a wonderful party because the son who was lost had been found. Jesus told this story because it shows how God loves to receive sinners who repent and come to Him.
This short Bible story is found in Luke 15