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Chapter 15

1All the tax-collectors and irreligious people were crowding up to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes grumbled, and said,

“This man welcomes irreligious people, and even eats with them!”

3So in speaking to them he used this figure:

4“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep, and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go in search of the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he puts it on his shoulders with joy, 6and when he reaches home, he calls in his friends and neighbors, and says to them, ‘Congratulate me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ 7I tell you, in just that way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinful person who repents, than over ninety-nine upright people who do not need any repentance. 8Or what woman who has ten silver coins and loses one, does not light the lamp and sweep the house and look carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls in her friends and neighbors, and says to them, ‘Congratulate me, for I have found the coin that I lost!’ 10In just that way, I tell you, there is joy among the angels of God over one sinful person who repents!”

11And he said,

“A man had two sons. 12The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the property.’ So he divided his property between them.

13Not many days later, the younger son gathered up all he had, and went away to a distant country, and there he squandered his property by fast living. 14After he had spent it all, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15And he went and hired himself out to a resident of the country, and he sent him into his fields to tend pigs. 16And he was ready to fill himself with the pods the pigs were eating, and no one would give him anything. 17When he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired men my father has, who have more than enough to eat, and here I am, dying of hunger! 18I will get up, and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your eyes; 19I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired men!” ’ 20And he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and pitied him, and ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your eyes; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired men!’ 22But his father said to his slaves, ‘Make haste and get out the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23and get the calf we are fattening, and kill it, and let us feast and celebrate, 24for my son here was dead, and he has come to life; he was lost, and he is found!’ So they began to celebrate. 25But his elder son was in the field. When he came in and approached the house, he heard music and dancing, 26and he called one of the servants to him and asked him what it meant. 27He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the calf he has been fattening, because he has gotten him back alive and well.’ 28But he was angry and would not go into the house. And his father came out and urged him. 29And he said to his father, ‘Here I have served you all these years, and have never disobeyed an order of yours, and you have never given me a kid, so that I could entertain my friends. 30But when your son here came, who has eaten up your property with women of the street, for him you killed the calf you have been fattening!’ 31But he said to him, ‘My child, you have been with me all the time, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because your brother was dead, and has come to life, and was lost and is found!’ ”

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