The Lost Sheep

One of the ways Jesus taught his disciples was through parables. Parables are vivid stories that have a hidden message. Jesus often used parables to respond to criticism.

The Gospel of Luke is in the New Testament of the Bible. It tells of an incident where Jesus was preaching to a group of tax collectors and sinners.

…at which the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then he addressed this parable to them: “Who among you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wasteland and follow the lost one until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.’ I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:2-7)

Explain the message of this parable.

Love of Enemies

Jesus urged his followers to love other people, even those who hurt them. He said:

My command to you is: love your enemies, pray for your persecutors. This will prove that you are sons of your heavenly Father, for his sun rises on the bad and the good, he rains on the just and the unjust. If you love those who love you, what merit is there in that? Do not tax collectors do as much? And if you greet your brothers only, what is so praiseworthy about that? Do not pagans do as much? (Matthew 5:44-47)

What reasons does Jesus give here for trying to love everyone, not just friends and family?