Making time for others

The three of Jesus’ parables that remind us about caring for the individual.

Luke 15 contains three well-known parables of Jesus and we are told the reason for Jesus telling these parables. The chapter begins with, “all the tax collectors and sinners” drawing near to Jesus in order to hear Him. But there were also Pharisees and scribes present who spoke indignantly about Jesus because He welcomed sinners and actually ate with them. We are then told that Jesus, “spoke this parable to them”, i.e., to the Pharisees and the scribes. The text refers to a singular parable, yet Jesus actually told three parables to make His point to the Pharisees and the scribes.

The Pharisees despised these “sinners” calling them derisively the people of the land. They would have nothing to do with such people in their normal course of life. They would not deal with them unless they had to, and they certainly would not eat with them. They did not care for these “sinners”, either in this life or with regard to their place in the next life. The Pharisees observed the law and knew themselves to be righteous, while these “sinners” did not keep the law and were therefore deserving of anything unpleasant that happened to them.

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