Leo Tolstoy Archive

The Teaching of Christ Narrated for Children
Chapter 35

Written: 1908
Source: From RevoltLib.com
Transcription/Markup: Andy Carloff
Online Source: RevoltLib.com; 2021

Leo Tolstoy

And Jesus told another parable about the same. He said: “One man had two sons; and the youngest son wanted to separate from the father and said: ‘Father, give me my share.’ And the father gave him his share. This young son took his share and went off to foreign land. And at the foreign land, he had wasted all his possessions and began to live in poverty. And fell so low that he had to take the job to feed swine. And the only food he ate was acorns, the same that pigs ate. And the he pondered about his life and said to himself: why have I walked away from my father. My father had a lot of everything, even my father’s workers eat well. But I'm here eat the same food as pigs. I better go to my father, bow to him in the feet and say: ‘Father, I am guilty before you and don’t deserve to be your son. Take me as your worker at least.’ He thought so and went to his father. And when he approached the house, his father saw him, recognized him, and went out to meet him, hugged and kissed him. And the son said: ‘Father, I am guilty before you, I don’t deserve to be your son.’ Father did not answer these words, but only ordered workers to bring the best clothes and good boots, and told his son to get dressed in everything good. And also his father commanded to kill the best calf. And when all was ready, the father told his household: ‘this son of mine was dead, but now he became alive; he was lost but now is found. Let us celebrate this happiness.’ And when everybody sat at the table, the older son came from the field and saw that they celebrated something at the house; he called a worker and asked: ‘What are we celebrating?’ And the worker said: ‘Didn't you hear - your brother is back, and your father rejoices.’ The older brother got offended and didn’t go into the house. And his father came out to him and began to call him. But the older son didn’t come and said to his father: ‘For how many years I’ve been working for you, and there was not a single order that I have disobeyed, but you have never cut the best calf for me. But the youngest brother left home, squandered all the possessions with drunkards, and now you're doing such a feast for him.’ And the father said the older son: ‘You are always with me, and all mine is yours. And you should not be offended, but should rejoice that your brother was dead, and now became alive, was lost but now is found.’ That’s what God does to all people, when sooner or later they return to the Father, and enter the kingdom of God. (Luke 15: 11-32)

1) How did the youngest son separate from his father, and how did he live?
2) How did he return?
3) How did his father meet him?
4) What did the older brother say?
5) What did the father answer?
6) What does this parable mean?