This chapter is bound together by the theme of joy over the recovery of what was lost. All three parables apply to the return of the repentant sinner; the story of the prodigal son develops the theme of God’s love and adds the contrast of the older brother’s hostility. Jesus is surrounded by “tax collectors and sinners,” causing murmuring among the scribes and Pharisees (see 7:39). Jesus addresses his listeners directly: “What man among you…?” What he suggests all will do in going after the one lost sheep is actually not what many of us would do, but the attractiveness of this extravagant individual concern makes the listener want to agree. We are drawn into God’s world, seeing and acting as he would. The shepherd’s joy is like God’s joy; his dedication to the individual sheep, carrying it back to the flock, is a reflection of God’s love. A different image is used in the second parable to the same effect. The woman has lost one of her ten silver coins. She turnes her house upside down in search of this one coin in ten. What about the other sine silver pieces and the ninety-nine sheep—are they not important, too? Surely, but the joy of the kingdom breaks out of the ordinary categories of reason and good business. It is like a new life, a resurrection, and must be celebrated.