A parable Jesus told….
Once there was a man who had two sons fully grown,
and the younger asked for his inheritance to go off on his own.
So the father divided his wealth and the younger son went away,
while the older one was loyal to his father and knew that he would stay.
In a distant land, the younger squandered all of his part of the estate.
He lived in a wild and unwise manner, and poverty became his fate.
A famine occurred in that country, and he couldn’t get ahead;
he was hired to take care of swine and longed to eat what they were fed.
At that time, he came to his senses and remembered his father’s care–
even his father’s servants had always had meals that were generous fare.
So he thought out what he would say about the restoration he desired.
“I’m no longer worthy to be my father’s son–I’ll just ask to be one who’s hired.”
He then traveled back to his home, and the father saw him when still far away–
then ran to embrace and kiss him, before even hearing what he had to say.
The son repented of all he’d done, telling all that had been on his mind;
and there he found compassion and a heart that was only kind.
The father called to his servants to clothe the young man with all of the best–
the best robe, ring, and sandals, and even with a banquet, he’d be blessed.
A celebration was called for everyone, for this was a time to rejoice!
But out in the fields, the older son stopped, having heard his father’s voice.
At the sound of the merriment, he inquired of the servants of what had just transpired.
They told him that his brother was home, and that a celebration was required.
He became angry then and wasn’t willing to even go inside,
but his father came out to entreat him–he wanted him to be alongside.
“…For so many years I’ve been serving you, and I’ve never neglected a command….”
He complained that he felt what his brother deserved was his father’s reprimand.
“My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours,” the father said.
But they needed to rejoice for this son now lived. “This brother of yours was dead–
He was lost and has been found,” he said–much like a Shepherd rejoices to find
a lost sheep that had strayed far from the fold but had always remained on His mind.
P. A. Oltrogge
From Luke 15:11-32
“I am the good shepherd and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep.” words of Jesus in John 10:14-15