Daily Bible Reading (Thursday, March 22nd)


Luke 15 (ESV)


The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins,[a] if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[b] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his servants,[d] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”


  1. Luke 15:8 Greek ten drachmas; a drachma was a Greek coin approximately equal in value to a Roman denarius, worth about a day's wage for a laborer
  2. Luke 15:15 Greek joined himself to
  3. Luke 15:21 Some manuscripts add treat me as one of your hired servants
  4. Luke 15:22 Or bondservants


I have discussed this passage with other Christians who believe it means that we can lose our salvation, but that interpretation misses the much bigger analogy. The lost son is the like Adam and his offspring, lost from rebellion and separated from God but able to repent and be immediately welcomed back into relationship with God the Father. The other son, is like Satan to a certain extent, in that he is proud and resentful, and believing he is wiser than the Father himself. This is the story of the forgiveness of MAN, not men. What an eager, loving father we have in heaven, knowing our hearts, who forgives us before we can even get the words of repentance out of our mouth!

The repentance of a sinner brings joy to God. What a thought! God had joy over my salvation. No man could ever come up with that thought apart from the personal communication from God Himself. That encourages me to want to see others saved, because it pleases God.

Three examples of the rejoicing in heaven over a single sinner coming to repentance. Sounds like a good reason to pray for just one person in our lives who would come to saving faith that we might "teach them all I have commanded you". And see them grow and continue the great commission as well.

To see one sinner turned about face: from one of those excuse making types in the last few chapters to one ambitious to learn, grow and serve the Lord. That is a miracle, and one the pleases our God.

Our Lord has saved a two thousand in an instant at the hearing of one sermon; and we pray for revival. But He tells us that He rejoices greatly in the saving of a single one, so we pray for that one in our lives. Thankful that a God who can save a million men, would care enough to save me. And rejoice over me. I rejoice too.

This chapter reveals to us that there is joy in heaven when a sinner repents because he who was dead is now alive and he who was lost has been found. There is profound theology in all of that but the thought of God and the angels rejoicing is amazing. To think that the Father loved us before we even knew Him and that He watched for us until we were saved and then He rejoiced over us. Thankful for His saving work in my life and I desire to be an instrument He can use to bring others to salvation and joy in heaven.

The parable of the prodigal son is such a reminder of God's grace/love for us! Let us not be like the older son who had no real love for the Father, no recognition of his sins, and was motivated to "obey" only for what it would gain him. Rather, let us be like the younger son who realized the fullness of his sin, repented, and then found full forgiveness/acceptance. Let us run to our heavenly Father and find grace and forgiveness! But to do that, we must first recognize our sins and then fully repent...or we will be like the older son whose love was based off what he could gain from the Father.

v2: Jesus was known for receiving sinners—a friend of sinners. Am I known for my friendliness towards sinners, or am I like a Pharisee or a scribe, thinking I’m above sinners, unwilling to relate, and placing myself on some religious pedestal? I am guilty. Father, forgive me and may your angels in Heaven rejoice.

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