How are the parables of Prodigal Son and Lost Sheep related?
Dr. Ken Bailey indicates that when a sheep realizes that it's lost, all it can do is bleat ( cry out). It's often a two-to-three day task for a shepherd to find and restore a sheep. Even when a shepherd has found it and calls to it, it won't move because it's too terrified. The shepherd must pick up it up and carry it home. A sheep in those times typcially weighed between 40 and 75 pounds. So what's the response of this Shepherd to this difficult task? ...Joy! ...Really?
Just as a sheep can't restore itself neither can the prodigal restore himself. It takes the efforts of a shepherd to find and to restore a sheep; it takes the loving efforts of the Father to find and to restore each of us. It's not our will, not our efforts, not even our faith that saves us. It's Him.
Lost Sheep parable explained