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The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – Why Pursue Sinners? (15:1-32)
Why Pursue Sinners? (15:1-32)

This chapter contains three linked parables that explain why Jesus associates with sinners. The linkage is evident in the terms lost and found (vv. 6, 9, 24, 32) and rejoice and celebrate (vv. 6, 9, 24, 32; Stein 1992:400). All three parables end with similar statements (vv. 7, 10, 32). The theme of Jesus' association with sinners is key (5:29-32; 7:36-50; 19:1-10). The unit involves a "twin parable" typical of Luke (5:36-39; 14:28-32) followed by an elaborate parable of the type often called an example story (another example story is the parable of the good Samaritan in 10:25-37).