This is one of the most beloved chapters in the Bible. The entire chapter should be seen as a unit. Each parable is ultimately designed to set forth God’s love for those who are lost, His great efforts to restore them to Himself, and His joy when they are returned. Each also deals with issues surrounding the contrasting despicable spirit of the scribes and Pharisees. The four parables describe different circum-stances among the lost: the lost sheep speaks of one lost because of carelessness. The lost coin addresses the tragedy of being lost by another’s fault. The lost prodigal son represents being lost by one’s willful seeking of his own will. And the lost elder brother represents those who are self-righteous.
- Those represented by the:
- Lost sheep
- Lost coin
- Lost son
- Elder brother
- The Father!
- Jesus is in the presence of Pharisees and Scribes probably still in Galilee but beginning to go toward Jerusalem
- These parables could occur anywhere