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Luke 15:11-32: A Father and Two Lost Sons
From this page you can take a slow, careful, detailed, almost word-by-word, walk through the parable. I hope to show you how much you can dig into scripture.

Verses 11-19: The youngest son’s adventures and how they began.

Verse 11: Then Jesus said, "There was a man who had two sons.
Verse 12: The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them.
Verse 13: A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living.
Verse 14: When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need.
Verse 15: So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs.
Verse 16: He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
Verse 17: But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger!
Verse 18: I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you;
Verse 19:

I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands."’

Verses 20-24: The son’s return leads to an unexpected reaction from the father.

Verse 20: So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.

Verse 21: Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

Verse 22: But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe -- the best one -- and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.

Verse 23: And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;

Verse 24: for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.


Verses 25-29: The reaction of the older son.

Verse 25: "Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

Verse 26: He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on.

Verse 27: He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’

Verse 28: Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him.

Verse 29: But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends.

Verse 30: But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!

Verse 31: Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.

Verse 32: But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’ "

Last updated 4/29/03; first posted 12/27/00; © 2003 John P. Nordin