169:1.15 Jesus was very partial to telling these three stories at the same time. He presented the story of the lost sheep to show that, when men unintentionally stray away from the path of life, the Father is mindful of such lost ones and goes out, with his Sons, the true shepherds of the flock, to seek the lost sheep. He then would recite the story of the coin lost in the house to illustrate how thorough is the divine searching for all who are confused, confounded, or otherwise spiritually blinded by the material cares and accumulations of life. And then he would launch forth into the telling of this parable of the lost son, the reception of the returning prodigal, to show how complete is the restoration of the lost son into his Father’s house and heart.
So much of evolutionary religion is involved in the teaching that punishment is in store for those who stray. In the above quote Jesus reveals a new revelation of the Father's personality which indicates that he knows full well that we will occasionally stray from the living Way and that it is not a punishable offense. An error? Yes. But just like the father of a human child who wanders away from home, he will search high and low for the lost child and celebrate when he/she is found. I find this so comforting, whereas the horrible fear of punishment that human based religions force on the soul is a useless burden and a stumbling block to true spiritual growth.
Wouldn't you prefer to flee from a punishing parent? How can hellfire and damnation or crushing guilt and fear ever bring a lost child home? I see only a few options: 1) The terrified and intimidated child accepts the punishment and lives a life of submission; or 2) the child runs further away seeking comfort and pleasure elsewhere. It's no small wonder that there is such a rise in drug/alcohol abuse, feel-good spirituality, sexuality and other forms of escapism in a world where evolutionary religion has lost its flavor for so many. The third option, as I see it, is to accept revealed religion, be born of the spirit, and find one's true Father.
Jesus labored to set people free from the torment of submission to false religion. He offers an alternative and he lures them away from tyranny with love. His love is so powerful that it literally destroys fear and error. He said, "I am the true shepherd."
p1448:3 131:4.4 He is the supreme refuge of the universe and the changeless guardian of everlasting law. Our God is the Lord of life and the Comforter of all men; he is the lover of mankind and the helper of those who are distressed. He is our life giver and the Good Shepherd of the human flocks. God is our father, brother, and friend. And we long to know this God in our inner being.
And, to those who are meant to be undershepherds, Jesus gives the following advice:
165:2.6 You who would be the undershepherds of my Father’s flocks must not only be worthy leaders, but you must also feed the flock with good food; you are not true shepherds unless you lead your flocks into green pastures and beside still waters.