Luke 15 NLT/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 1 Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him.
2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such despicable people -- even eating with them! 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3 So Jesus used this illustration: 3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
4 "If you had one hundred sheep, and one of them strayed away and was lost in the wilderness, wouldn't you leave the ninety-nine others to go and search for the lost one until you found it? 4 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
5 And then you would joyfully carry it home on your shoulders. 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 When you arrived, you would call together your friends and neighbors to rejoice with you because your lost sheep was found. 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'
7 In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away! 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
8 "Or suppose a woman has ten valuable silver coins and loses one. Won't she light a lamp and look in every corner of the house and sweep every nook and cranny until she finds it? 8 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her because she has found her lost coin. 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'
10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents." 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
11 To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: "A man had two sons. 11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger son told his father, 'I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die.' So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
13 "A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money on wild living. 13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 "When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! 17 "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man."' 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
20 "So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ' 21 "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. '
22 "But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. 22 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 'Your brother is back,' he was told, 'and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast. We are celebrating because of his safe return.' 27 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 "The older brother was angry and wouldn't go in. His father came out and begged him, 28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29 but he replied, 'All these years I've worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have.' 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31 "His father said to him, 'Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. 31 " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!'" 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "