Luke 15 begins with Jesus speaking to the tax collectors and others, and then the religious elite happen by, and begin to grumble about the company the Saviour keeps, with the intent to disparage his authority. Jesus tells three parables that in ever ascending power demonstrates the power of God to seek the lost and forgive —culminating in the description of the loving Father that “ while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. ” All men are at one time or another— either the elder brother, or the prodigal son. Each have a life problem that is self inflicted, each are forgiven, and each are beckoned to their proper place—the banqueting table.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Prodigal Son
11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his [a]wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and [b]hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the [c]pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to [d]his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and [e]in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to [f]his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and [g]embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never [h]neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your [i]wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you [j]have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”
Luke 15:12 Lit living
Luke 15:15 Lit was joined to
Luke 15:16 I.e. of the carob tree
Luke 15:17 Lit himself
Luke 15:18 Lit before you
Luke 15:20 Lit his own
Luke 15:20 Lit fell on his neck
Luke 15:29 Or disobeyed
Luke 15:30 Lit living
Luke 15:31 Lit are always with me