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Luke 15 The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Parable of the Lost Lamb

15 Many dishonest tax collectors and other notorious sinners often gathered around to listen as Jesus taught the people. This raised concerns with the Jewish religious leaders and experts of the law. Indignant, they grumbled and complained, saying, “Look at how this man associates with all these notorious sinners and welcomes them all to come to him!”

In response, Jesus gave them this illustration:

4–5 “There once was a shepherd with a hundred lambs, but one of his lambs wandered away and was lost. So the shepherd left the ninety-nine lambs out in the open field and searched in the wilderness for that one lost lamb. He didn’t stop until he finally found it. With exuberant joy he raised it up and placed it on his shoulders,[a] carrying it back with cheerful delight! Returning home, he called all his friends and neighbors together and said, ‘Let’s have a party! Come and celebrate with me the return of my lost lamb. It wandered away, but I found it and brought it home.’”

Jesus continued, “In the same way, there will be a glorious celebration in heaven over the rescue of one lost sinner who repents, comes back home, and returns to the fold—more so than for all the righteous people who never strayed away.”

The Parable of the Lost Coin

Jesus gave them another parable:

“There once was a woman who had ten[b] valuable silver coins. When she lost one of them, she swept her entire house, diligently searching every corner of her house for that one lost coin. When she finally found it, she gathered all her friends and neighbors for a celebration, telling them, ‘Come and celebrate with me! I had lost my precious silver coin, but now I’ve found it.’ 10 That’s the way God responds[c] every time one lost sinner repents and turns to him. He says to all his angels, ‘Let’s have a joyous celebration, for that one who was lost I have found!’”[d]

The Loving Father

11 Then Jesus said, “Once there was a father with two sons. 12 The younger son came to his father and said, ‘Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?’[e] So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance.[f] 13 Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. He journeyed to a far-off land where he soon wasted all he was given in a binge of extravagant and reckless living.

14 “With everything spent and nothing left, he grew hungry, for there was a severe famine in that land. 15 So he begged a farmer in that country to hire him. The farmer hired him and sent him out to feed the pigs. 16 The son was so famished, he was willing to even eat the slop given to the pigs,[g] because no one would feed him a thing.

17 “Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? 18 I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. 19 I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.”’

20 “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar,[h] and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.

21 “Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’

“The father interrupted and said,[i] ‘Son, you’re home now!’

22 “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship,[j] and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes[k] you can find for my son. 23 Let’s prepare a great feast[l] and celebrate. 24 For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy.

25 “Now, the older son was out working in the field when his brother returned, and as he approached the house he heard the music of celebration and dancing. 26 So he called over one of the servants and asked, ‘What’s going on?’

27 “The servant replied, ‘It’s your younger brother. He’s returned home and your father is throwing a party to celebrate his homecoming.’

28 “The older son became angry and refused to go in and celebrate. So his father came out and pleaded with him, ‘Come and enjoy the feast with us!’[m]

29 “The son said, ‘Father, listen! How many years have I been working like a slave for you, performing every duty you’ve asked as a faithful son?[n] And I’ve never once disobeyed you. But you’ve never thrown a party for me because of my faithfulness. Never once have you even given me a goat that I could feast on and celebrate with my friends like he’s doing now. 30 But look at this son of yours! He comes back after wasting your wealth on prostitutes and reckless living, and here you are throwing a great feast to celebrate—for him!’

31 “The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me by my side. Everything I have is yours to enjoy. 32 It’s only right to celebrate like this and be overjoyed, because this brother of yours was once dead and gone, but now he is alive and back with us again. He was lost but now he is found!’”[o]


  1. Luke 15:4 What a wonderful picture this gives us of our “Good Shepherd.” He doesn’t beat the lost sheep for wandering away. He raises it up and carries it home!
  2. Luke 15:8 The silver coin was a zuza (Aramaic). Although there are differing opinions as to its value, it could be equal in today’s currency to more than twelve hundred US dollars. Notice the change of numbers in the three parables in this chapter: one out of a hundred for the sheep, one out of ten for the coins, and one out of two for the sons. This progressively shows the extraordinary value that Jesus places on every lost soul. Although the coin was lost, it never lost its value.
  3. Luke 15:10 Jesus used the woman in this parable as a metaphor for God. This alone would incite anger from the Pharisees. In the next parable, God is unveiled as the extravagant Father who forgives his wayward son.
  4. Luke 15:10 The silver coin had an image of Roman authority on it. We have been stamped with the image of God. Even when we are “lost,” that image is still present, needing only to be “found” by grace and redeemed.
  5. Luke 15:12 In the light of Middle Eastern culture, it was a great offense for a son to ask his father for his inheritance. It would be equivalent to saying, “I wish you were already dead!”
  6. Luke 15:12 The Greek is literally “He gave them his life” (Greek bios).
  7. Luke 15:16 This would be degrading to anyone, but especially to a Jew, who was forbidden to raise swine.
  8. Luke 15:20 Implied in the context of the Greek text and stated more explicitly in the Aramaic.
  9. Luke 15:21 This poetic description is made explicit from the cultural and spiritual implication of the text.
  10. Luke 15:22 Culturally, this ring was an emblem of authority, giving the son authority to transact business in the father’s name. This was a picture of the seal of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:14).
  11. Luke 15:22 Or “bring sandals for his feet.” Slaves were barefoot.
  12. Luke 15:23 The Greek text is “kill the grain-fatted calf.” This is a picture of feasting upon Christ, who was sacrificed for us.
  13. Luke 15:28 In the culture of that era, hospitality was of supreme importance. To refuse to go in to the feast, when it was his responsibility culturally to cohost the event with his father, was a humiliating rejection of the father.
  14. Luke 15:29 While the younger brother pursued self-discovery, the older brother believed in moral conformity, earning favor from his father. Both needed the revelation of grace.
  15. Luke 15:32 Jesus spoke three parables unveiling and revealing how the Trinity desires to bring people back through the Son, by the Spirit, to the Father. The Son came as a shepherd, seeking and sacrificing to find the lost sinner. The Spirit seeks the lost like the woman with the light of illumination for the lost coin until she found it. And the Father welcomes the returning sinner back to his house. It is the work of the Trinity to bring us back to God. In Matt. 28:19, it is the sequence of the Father, the Spirit, and the Son. Here in Luke 15, it is the Son, the Spirit, and the Father.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com


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