“The Third Parable: The Lost Son,” New Testament Stories (2005), 90–94
A man had two sons. The man promised to give his money to them when he died. The younger son did not want to wait. He asked his father for his part of the money. His father gave it to him.
The son took the money and left home. He went to another land. The son sinned again and again. He spent all of the money.
Finally the son had no money to buy food. He was very hungry. He asked a man for help. The man hired him to feed his pigs.
The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pigs’ food. He knew that the servants in his father’s house had better food to eat than he did.
He decided to repent and ask to be a servant in his father’s house. When the son went home, his father saw him coming.
The father ran to meet his son. He put his arms around him and kissed him.
The son told his father that he had sinned. He felt he was not worthy to be called his father’s son.
The father told a servant to bring the best clothes and put them on the son. The servant put shoes on the son’s feet and a ring on his finger.
The father told the servant to prepare a feast. He wanted everyone to celebrate. The son who had sinned had repented and returned home.
The older son had been working in the field. When he came home, he heard music and dancing. A servant told him that his younger brother had come home. His father wanted everyone to celebrate.
The older son was angry and would not go into the house. His father came out to talk with him.
The father was thankful that the older son had always stayed with him. Everything the father had would be his. The father also said that it was right to celebrate. He was happy his younger son had repented and returned home.
Jesus told the Pharisees the three parables because He wanted them to know how much Heavenly Father loves everyone. He loves people who obey Him. He also loves sinners, but Heavenly Father cannot bless them until they repent. He wants sinners to repent and come back to Him. And He wants us to help them do that and to be happy when they return.