“ Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn ’ thymine he leave the ninety-nine in the open state and go after the lose sheep until he finds it ? ” ( Luke 15:4 ) .
The sheepherder, like the charwoman with her coin, urgently searches for the one lost sheep. His greatest desire is to find it and return it to the flock. Jesus again states that heaven is entire of the same gladness for every lost person who comes back.
The last of the three parables, and possibly the best know, is “ The Parable of the Lost Son. ” This tells of a man whose youngest son demands his inheritance from his forefather. This son then goes away from home and cursorily spends all the money, leaving him working for a bull farmer, athirst and humiliated .
“ When he came to his senses, he said… ’ I will set out and go back to my founder and say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no long worthy to be called your son ; make me like one of your hired servants ’ ” ( Luke 15:17 ,18 ).
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But as the new man approached home, he was astonished to see his father haste to him and embrace him warmly. He was not only “ returned ” to his family, but a great banquet was held to welcome him. This narrative has an excess section to it, an infelicitous reaction from another family member .
“ The older son became angry and refused to go in… ” ( Luke 15:28 ).
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This was a caution for the Pharisees, who frequently looked down on sinners and considered them hopeless causes. But all of us are to let go of judging others. The forefather ’ s response again reveals God ’ s graciousness .
“ ‘ My son, ’ the father said, ‘ you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 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 ’ ” ( Luke 15 ; 31-32 ) .
Photo accredit : ©Getty Images/Joaquin Corbalan