The Prodigal Son
As the people listened eagerly, Jesus told them this story:
"A certain man had two sons. The younger said, 'Father give me my share of the money that I am to have when you die.'
"So the father divided his wealth between his two sons. The younger packed his things and went on a long trip. He spent his
money freely. He wasted most of it in having a good time. At first there were many friends to enjoy the money with him. When
the money was all spent, the friends were gone too.
"About this time there was a famine in the land, and the young man became hungry. He got a job tending hogs for a farmer. Even
then the young man did not have enough to eat. He even wished someone would give him some of the food that was thrown to the
"How miserable the young man was! Finally he said to himself, 'My father has many servants who have plenty to eat, and here I am
starving. I will go back to my father and tell him how I have sinned. I will tell him that I'm not worthy to be his son, and I would like
to be one of his servants.' And the young man started home.
"The father missed his younger son. He worried about his boy. Every day he longed for his son to come home. Every day he watched
"One day in the distance the father saw a man coming. As the man got nearer, the father could see that he was ragged. Soon the father recognized the young man as his son. Running to meet him
the father threw his arms around the boy.
" 'Father,' the son said, 'I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be your
"Before the son could finish, the father ordered the servants, 'Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Prepare a feast. Let us eat and rejoice, for the son who I thought was dead is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.' All the household rejoiced.
"While this was happening, the older son was working in the field. When he returned to the house and heard all the excitement, he asked, 'What has happened?'
"The servants said, 'Your brother has come back. Your father is giving a dinner because the boy has returned safe and sound.'
"The older brother was not happy. Indeed, he was angry. He would not even go into the house. The father came out and talked to his older son. The selfish older son could think only of himself. He said,
'I have served you faithfully all these years, but you do not rejoice over me. Now when my brother comes back after
spending all his money on wild living, you celebrate.'
"At once the father knew his older son was jealous. He said, 'Son, you have always been with me. Everything I have is yours.
I thought your brother was dead, but he is alive. It is right to rejoice because he has come back. Though he was lost, now he is found.' "