“And when the shepherd comes home,
he calls together his friends and his neighbors,
saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me,
for I have found my sheep that was lost!’”
- Jesus to the Pharisees “The Lost Sheep” (Luke 15:6)
In response to the Pharisees’ judgmental and cheerless spirit, Jesus emphasized the importance of joy in His parable of the Lost Sheep. Not only does the shepherd rejoice upon finding the sheep, but he also calls for a celebration when he arrives back in the village.
In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day, the townspeople often shared shepherding responsibilities for their flocks, which meant that the loss of one sheep was a loss for the community and not just one owner. Consequently, when the shepherd would arrive safely back in the village, there would follow a time of jubilation and thanksgiving for his safe return.
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