Consider the nature of the people in the crowds around Jesus as He shared the parables in Luke 15.
- Publicans: social outcasts of their day, notoriously dishonest, gathered more taxes than Rome required
- Sinners: those who everyone knew had “missed the mark” regarding righteousness
- Pharisees: zealots who were outwardly religious, strived to impress others, condemned others, avoided even touching sinners
- Scribes: spent time copying scriptures, others accepted them as experts, their attitudes were similar to those of the Pharisees