62. Saving the Lost.
The Pharisees were complaining that Jesus was spending so much time with sinners who had rejected their religion. Jesus explained that the shepherd must go after the sheep who is lost to find it and return it to the flock, and the good shepherd is happy when he has found the one who has gone astray; for he loves all the sheep, not just the obedient ones. The woman uses her light and looks for the coin she lost and is glad when she has found it. Just so, the Christ loves all but gives to those who are most in need; and when a sinner repents and rejoins the flock, then all the servants of God are glad.
It is as though God has two types of sons: those who serve him and those who wander off to "do their own thing." God gives this latter son his share of gifts and abilities. After he has expended his energy and resources in trying to satisfy his desires he becomes broke and destitute, for he has not been turning to God for assistance. He tries to make it in the world on his own, but he is like a stranger in a foreign land where there is famine. Finally he realizes that he would be better off serving God even as the lowest of his servants, because God is wealthy and bounteous. Therefore he returns to God in abject humility. God is loving and glad that his lost son has returned and gives him gifts and a great celebration.
However, the loyal servant becomes jealous at the attention his sinful brother is receiving; but his attitude is one of selfish attachment; for if he loved his brother, then he would be glad also. His brother has already suffered for his errors, while he has been sharing in his father's sovereignty all the while; he should not expect a special reward, for all the realm is his. Now they may be glad that their brother who had gone astray is alive and with them again.