We can now see how masterfully Jesus took the Shepherd and sheep metaphor from the Old Testament and held it up as mirror for the Pharisees to look into. Jesus parables in Luke 15 reveal the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the love of the father, our role in repentance and a host of profound theological ideas. Below I have posted a comparison of the Shepherd stories. Below is a table assembled by Bailey that shows the parallels between the stories. I wrote in an earlier post that the parable about the lost coin is also is the lost sheep story transferred into the daily lives of women. The first four columns below are Baileys and I have added the fifth. (Source: Jacob and the Prodigal, 70)
I invite you to look this table over and reflect on what you think Jesus was doing with this metaphor. In the next post we will begin a review of one of the most astonishing and scadolous passages in scripture, the parable of the compassionate father.