The tax-collectors and sinners kept gathering around to hear Yeshua,
and the P'rushim and Torah-teachers kept grumbling. "This fellow," they said, "welcomes sinners -- he even eats with them!"
So he told them this parable:
"If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, doesn't he leave the other ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it?
When he does find it, he joyfully hoists it onto his shoulders;
and when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, `Come, celebrate with me, because I have found my lost sheep!'
I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to God from his sins than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.
"Another example: what woman, if she has ten drachmas and loses one of these valuable coins, won't light a lamp, sweep the house and search all over until she finds it?
And when she does find it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, `Come, celebrate with me, because I have found the drachma I lost.'
In the same way, I tell you, there is joy among God's angels when one sinner repents."
Again Yeshua said, "A man had two sons.
The younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of the estate that will be mine.' So the father divided the property between them.
As soon as he could convert his share into cash, the younger son left home and went off to a distant country, where he squandered his money in reckless living.
But after he had spent it all, a severe famine arose throughout that country, and he began to feel the pinch.
"So he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
He longed to fill his stomach with the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him any.
"At last he came to his senses and said, `Any number of my father's hired workers have food to spare; and here I am, starving to death!
I'm going to get up and go back to my father and say to him, "Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you;
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers." '
So he got up and started back to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him warmly.
His son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son --'
but his father said to his slaves, `Quick, bring out a robe, the best one, and put it on him; and put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet;
and bring the calf that has been fattened up, and kill it. Let's eat and have a celebration!
For this son of mine was dead, but now he's alive again! He was lost, but now he has been found!' And they began celebrating.
"Now his older son was in the field. As he came close to the house, he heard music and dancing.
So he called one of the servants and asked, `What's going on?'
The servant told him, `Your brother has come back, and your father has slaughtered the calf that was fattened up, because he has gotten him back safe and sound.'
But the older son became angry and refused to go inside. "So his father came out and pleaded with him.
`Look,' the son answered, `I have worked for you all these years, and I have never disobeyed your orders. But you have never even given me a young goat, so that I could celebrate with my friends.
Yet this son of yours comes, who squandered your property with pros titutes, and for him you slaughter the fattened calf!'
`Son, you are always with me,' said the father, `and everything I have is yours.
We had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead but has come back to life -- he was lost but has been found.'"