The Christines at Tiberius. Jesus speaks on the inner life. Relates the parable of the prodigal son. The resentment of the elder brother.
WHEN they had journeyed through the towns and cities of the land of Galilee, the Lord with his disciples came to Tiberius, and here they met a few who loved the name of Christ.
2 And Jesus told them many things about the inner life; but when the multitudes came up, he spoke a parable; he said,
3 A certain man with great possessions had two sons. The youngest son grew tired of life at home and said,
4 My father, pray divide your wealth and give the portion that is mine to me, and I will seek my fortune in another land.
5 The father did as he desired, and with his wealth the young man went into a foreign land.
6 He was a profligate and soon had squandered all his wealth in ways of sin.
7 When nothing else remained for him to do he found employment in the fields to care for swine.
8 And he was hungry, and no one gave him aught to eat, and so he ate the carob pods that he was feeding to the swine.
9 And after many days he found himself and said unto himself, My father is a man of wealth; he has a score of servants who are bountifully fed while I, his son, am starving in the fields among the swine.
10 I do not hope to be received again as son, but I will rise and go straight to my father's house, and I will make confession of my waywardness;
11 And I will say, My father, I am come again; I am profligate, and I have lost my wealth in ways of sin; I am not worthy to be called your son.
12 I do not ask to be received again as son, but let me have a place among your servants, where I may have a shelter from the storms and have enough to eat.
13 And he arose and sought his father's house, and as he came his mother saw him while yet a great way off.
14 (A mother's heart can feel the first faint yearning of a wandering child.)
15 The father came, and hand in hand they walked a-down the way to meet the boy, and there was joy, great joy.
16 The boy tried hard to plead for mercy and a servant's place; but love was all too great to listen to the plea.
17 The door was opened wide; he found a welcome in the mother's heart, and in the father's heart.
18 The father called the servants in, and bade them bring the finest robe for him; the choicest sandals for his feet; a ring of purest gold for him to wear.
19 And then the father said, My servants, go and kill the fatted calf; prepare a feast, for we are glad;
20 Our son we thought was dead is here alive; a treasure that we thought was lost is found.
21 The feast was soon prepared and all were merry, when the eldest son who had been serving in a distant field and knew not that his brother had returned, came home.
22 And when he learned the cause of all the merriment he was offended, and would not go into the house.
23 His father and his mother both besought him tearfully to disregard the waywardness and folly of their son; but he would not; he said,
24 Lo, all these years I have remained at home, have served you every day, have never yet transgressed your most severe commands;
25 And yet you never killed for me a kid, nor made for me a simple feast that I might make merry with my friends;
26 But when your son, this profligate, who has gone forth and squandered half your wealth in ways of sin, comes home, because he could do nothing else, you kill for him the fatted calf and make a wondrous feast.
27 His father said, My son, all that I have is yours and you are ever with us in our joys;
28 And it is well to show our gladness when your brother, who is near and dear to us, and who we thought was dead, returns to us alive.
29 He may have been a profligate; may have consorted with gay courtesans and thieves, yet he is still your brother and our son.
30 Then Jesus said so all might hear; He who has ears to hear, and hearts to understand will comprehend the meaning of this parable.
31 Then Jesus and the twelve came to Capernaum.