Barry Newman's Blog

April 3, 2013

The Parable(s) of the Lost Sheep (part XV)

Filed under: Parables of Jesus,The Parable(s) of the Lost Sheep — barrynewman @ 10:41 pm

Final Words

As discussed earlier, Jesus may have only uttered the one parable with Matthew and Luke “tweaking” it and aligning it with certain different statements of Jesus, to suit their own purposes as they created their Gospels, for different readerships.  However, the settings are so different and the content of each parable sufficiently different to warrant their being treated as two separate parables.  Hence the title to the series, “The Parable(s) of Jesus”, though they are sometimes treated as one.

However in each Gospel, the hearers as portrayed in those Gospels appear to be much the same – the Pharisees and the scribes.  In Matthew, they are the ones who place themselves under the severe judgement of God by looking down upon the little ones who belonged to Jesus.  In Luke, they are the ones who see themselves far removed from those sinners whom Jesus received and mutter against Jesus because of his close involvement with them.

In Matthew that the 99 are left on the mountains and in Luke that they should be left in the wilderness, could be significant with “mountains” and “wilderness” not simply being necessary backdrops for the story.  In both cases, Jesus could have referred to the sheep having been left in the countryside. While such references could have been made for purposes of sarcasm, they do convey the idea that the ninety nine are basically abandoned – they really do have little interest for the shepherd as he searches for the lost one.

And who does the great shepherd, God, regard as precious? – the little ones who follow his Son Jesus! The despisers of these little ones he condemns.

And over whom does the great shepherd, God, rejoice? – the sinners who repent! The hypocrites, the pious self righteous he abandons.

And whom do we regard as precious? And over whom do we rejoice?


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