S4E21: The Parables of Lost Things

Download this episode

In this episode we discuss the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son found in Luke 15. Jesus uses familiar imagery in each of these parables to indict the religious leaders for their lack of concern for the sinners and marginalized within Israel. Particularly, the imagery of sheep/shepherds and God as Israel’s father were commonly known based on the covenant (Deut 32) and the prophetic tradition (Isa 63; Jer 50; Ezek 34; etc.). Rather than an individualized or ethnicized interpretation, these parables are best understood in an intra-Jewish (apocalyptic) context.

Show notes

  • The apocalyptic context of these parables (4:33)
  • Shepherds and sheep in Jewish literature – Jeremiah 50:6-7; Ezekiel 34:1-6, 22-24; Psalms of Solomon 17:21, 39-42; Ex. Rab. 2:2 (10:29)
  • Proleptic rejoicing in light of the messianic banquet – Isaiah 35:1-10 (25:54)
  • The prophets and the parable of the lost son – Jeremiah 31:18-20 (30:09)
  • Diaspora living among the Gentiles (33:40)
  • Israel’s God as father – Deuteronomy 32:4-6; Isaiah 63:16, 64:18 (37:54)
  • Modern approaches to the parables (42:09)