1 – 2
Many tax collectors and “sinners” came to listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain: “Look! This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”
All men are sinners. If we fall into thinking of other people’s sins instead of our own we are inviting evil spirits to mock and remind us of the things we have done.
You can write it down that no matter how small the sin is there will be something happen to let it be known.
People who hide their sins will not be successful, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13
3 – 7
Then Jesus told them this story: “What if one of you has 100 sheep, but he loses one of them? Then he will leave the other 99 sheep alone and go out and look for the lost sheep. The man will keep on searching for the lost sheep until he finds it. And when he finds it, the man is very happy. He puts it on his shoulders and goes home.
He calls to his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’ In the same way, I tell you there is much joy in heaven when one sinner changes his heart. There is more joy for that one sinner than there is for 99 good people who do not need to change.
When a sheep keeps on running away, and getting into trouble, the shepherd takes his rod and breaks the sheep’s legs. Then he carries that sheep on his shoulders until the legs are healed. During this time the sheep becomes close friends with the shepherd and never wants to run away again.
Your rod and staff make me feel safe. Psalm 23:4
8 – 10
Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will light a lamp and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it.
And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’ In the same way, there is joy before the angels of God when one sinner changes his heart.
A good idea when you have lost something is to clean the place where you last saw it. Jesus is showing you to do what you can instead of complaining about what has happened. The angels are also happy when a Christian turns away from sin!
11 – 13
Then Jesus said, “A man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Give me my share of the property.’ So the father divided the property between his two sons. Then the younger son gathered up all that was his and left. He traveled far away to another country. There he wasted his money in foolish living.
Who else ran away from home in the Bible? Jacob lied to his father and had to run for his life. Absalom hated his father and spent the rest of his life trying to destroy David until he died trying.
In this story we see that even a good father can have a son who wants to get rid of anything that has control over his life. Pride is a way to try to see what it is like to be some kind of a god.
14. He spent everything that he had. Soon after that, the land became very dry, and there was no rain. There was not enough food to eat anywhere in the country. The son was hungry and needed money.
There are times when we will not do things God’s way until we are in such a bad place that we have no choice. We may have to lose friends and have no money and even hate ourselves before we see what God is teaching us. When we are in this dark place we need to go back to what we know in the Bible and build ourselves up instead of tearing ourselves down even more.
15. So he got a job with one of the citizens there. The man sent the son into the fields to feed pigs.
Jewish laws said that anyone who feeds pigs is cursed. The first thing he is thinking about is staying alive but not being sorry for what he had done. Give people time to get tired of what they are doing.
16 – 17
The son was so hungry that he was willing to eat the food the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything. The son realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, ‘All of my father’s servants have plenty of food. But I am here, almost dying with hunger.
Sometimes we ask God why we have to be tested by the stupid things we do. The devil tells us to never show our face again. God knew that we would pass this test but we did not know it until after we come out of the fire!
18 – 19
I will leave and return to my father. I’ll say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am not good enough to be called your son. But let me be like one of your servants.’
The first step to take when you see how you have hurt someone is to plan ahead what you are going to say to ask their forgiveness. Many people make promises to God when they are in trouble but many times these are fake promises and are never kept.
20 – 21
So the son left and went to his father. While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. He felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him, and hugged and kissed him. The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am not good enough to be called your son.’
Keep watching and praying every day for those who living with the pigs. God hears your prayers! The son did not get to finish the words he had planned to say because his father forgave him no matter what he said!
22 – 24
But the father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring the best clothes and put them on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get our fat calf and kill it. Then we can have a feast and celebrate! My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to celebrate.
Be happy when people come back to the Lord. Do not look down on them. Unless God had poured His grace on you then you could be doing even worse things than they have done!
25 – 27
The older son was in the field. As he came closer to the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. So he called to one of the servants and asked, ‘What does all this mean?’ The servant said, ‘Your brother has come back. Your father killed the fat calf to eat because your brother came home safely!’
The word for music here gives the idea that everybody was of one mind in a beautiful way. The older brother did not want this kind of beauty in his life.
28 – 30
The older son was angry and would not go in to the feast. So his father went out and begged him to come in. The son said to his father, ‘I have served you like a slave for many years! I have always obeyed your commands. But you never even killed a young goat for me to have a feast with my friends. But your other son has wasted all your money on prostitutes. Then he comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!’
What was inside of this brother came out. Biting your tongue for many years, while hiding what you really think, does not mean that you have true self-control. A proud person cannot help another proud person to fight against pride. Hiding your anger does not mean that you are very humble.
31 – 32
The father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me. All that I have is yours. We had to celebrate and be happy because your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.’”
This story is the way Jesus answered the Pharisees who were angry that He ate with people who they thought were more sinful than themselves. The older brother is like the Pharisees who cannot be happy that someone has turned away from evil because it was not done their way.
The older brother pretended to be a faithful son but all this time he was building up evil in his heart by living a false life of anger against God.