|Now all the “nigger-lovers”
and black people were gathering around him to listen. And the white church
people and Sunday school teachers were raising cain, saying, “This fellow
associates with black people and eats with them.” So Jesus gave them this
“Is there a man among you who, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, will not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go hunt for the lost one? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home with it. he calls over to his friends and neighbors, ‘Hey y’all, I found my lost sheep. Isn’t that wonderful?’ I’m telling you, in the same way there’ll be more joy among the spiritually sensitive one over a single ‘outsider’ who reshapes his life than over the ninety-nine ‘righteous’ people who don’t need to change their ways.
“Or suppose a woman has ten dimes and loses one of them; won’t she get the flashlight and a broom and sweep and look carefully till she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls over to her friends and neighbors and says, “hey y’all, you know that dime I lost? Well. I found it. Isn’t that nice?’ In the same way, I tell you there’s a rejoicing on the part of the God’s faithful ones over a single ‘outsider’ who re-shapes his life.”
He went on to say, “A man had two sons. The younger one said to his father, “dad, give me my share of the business.’ She he split up the business between them. Not so long after that the younger one packed up all his stuff and took off for a foreign land, where he threw his money away living like a fool. Soon he ran out of cash, and on top of that, the country was in a deep depression. So he was really hard up. He finally landed a job with one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into the fields to feed hogs! And he was hungry enough to tank up on the slop the hogs were eating. Nobody was giving him even a hand-out.”
|“One day an idea bowled him
over. ‘A lot of my father’s hired hands have more than enough bread to
eat, and out here I’m starving in this depression. I’m gonna get up and
go to my father and say, ‘Dad, I’ve sinned against God and you, and am
no longer fit to be called your son—just make me one of your hired hands.’
“So he got up and came to his father. While he was some distance down the road, his father saw him and was moved to tears. He ran to him and hugged him and kissed him and kissed him.
“The boy said, ‘Dad, I’ve sinned against God and you, and I’m not fit to be your son any more—‘ But the father said to his servants, “You all run quick and get the best suit you can find and put it on him. Get his family ring for his hand and some dress shoes for his feet. Then I want you to bring that stall-fed steer and butcher it, and let’s all eat and whoop it up, because this son of mine was given up for dead, and he’s still alive; he was lost and is now found.’ And they began to whoop it up.
“But his older son was out in the field. When he came in and got almost home, he heard the music and the dancing, and he called one of the little boys and asked him what in the world was going on. The little boy said, “Why, your brother has come home, and your daddy has butchered the stall-fed steer, because he got him back safe and sound. At this he blew his top, and wouldn’t go in. His father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, “Look here, all these years I’ve slaved for you, and never once went contrary to your orders. And yet, at no time have you ever given me so much as a baby goat with which to pitch a party for my friends. But when this son of yours—who has squandered the business on whores—comes home, you butcher for him the stall-fed steer.’ But he said to him, ‘My boy, my dear boy, you are with me all the time, and what’s mine is yours. But I just can’t help getting happy and whooping it up because this brother of yours was dead and is alive; he was lost and has been found.’”