Jesus is doing quite a bit of teaching, here: the parables of the wedding feast (do not exalt one’s self) and of the great banquet (do what we do, not to be repaid, but because it is right). He taught that we must be willing to give up all in order to follow him. And, then, the parables of the lost sheep and the prodigal son and the dishonest manager and the story of Lazarus and the rich man followed by the healing of the lepers and teaching about the kingdom.
Maybe a thought about the lost sheep. We tend to focus, I think, on the lost sheep, but what about the shepherd himself? For him, one sheep is not an acceptable loss or just the cost of doing business in the wilderness. The sheep is his, and he will not lose it! Furthermore, when he finds the sheep, he rejoices and invites his friends and neighbors to join him in rejoicing (similarly, the parables of the lost coin and the prodigal son). Our Savior is like this, that is, like the shepherd, like the woman who lost her coin, and like the father of the prodigal son; he will not let us go, and he rejoices when we are in close and sweet fellowship with him.
My Shepherd is the Lamb of God,
He calls to me each day,
To drink the waters flowing free,
From His pierced side of grace.
Yet when I stray or choose my way,
He still would search for me,
And bring me home on shoulders strong.
Do I not His love see? (I’m not sure about the author or the date.)