Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and scribes on the subject of eating with sinners. The Pharisees are particularly critical of this practice by the Lord. Jesus tells them three stories related to rejoicing over repenting sinners — the first is about a man with 100 sheep who leaves the 99 in the open pasture to search out and reclaim the one who has strayed. The second story is about the woman who has 10 coins, loses 1 coin, stops worrying over the 9 she still has in her possession, and searches her house until she locates the lost coin. The third story is about the father with 2 sons; he loses 1 to the world. Thankfully, this son comes to his senses and returns home.
In each story, the man, the woman, and the father throw a party. The man who finds his sheep calls his neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, because I’ve found my lost sheep!” (Luke 15:6, HCSB) The woman who locates her coin calls her women friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me, because I’ve found the silver coin I lost!” (Luke 15:9) The father who regains his lost son calls his slaves together and commands them to “bring out the best robe,” a ring, and “the fattened calf” and “let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:22,23-24)
Jesus tells the Pharisees and scribes, “Why should I worry over the ‘righteous’? The ‘righteous’ have no need of Me. Instead, I rejoice with sinners who come to their senses. Don’t be like the son who stayed at his father’s side, bitter and resentful that his dad threw a party for his reclaimed son. Everything I have already belongs to you. And there’s plenty more partying to do.”