1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
8Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
9And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
11And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
When I started studying this piece of scripture, I was immediately drawn into the whole chapter.
Although I would love to do an entire Bible study on Luke 15, I will contain myself! In today’s post I will be using just a few verses of the scripture, even though I have included Luke 15 in its entirety.
I encourage you to read all of Luke 15 and then meditate or study on it. There are so many precious nuggets just waiting to be found.
Luke tells us that although Jesus used parables many times to teach the disciples and/or the people, these particular parables were mostly for the benefit of the Pharisees.
They had come against Jesus for “hanging out” with sinners and even eating with them. The Pharisees believed the sinners needed to be shunned and they would never have anything to do with sinners, tax collectors and the like.
They had made accusations against Jesus and now Christ is going to retaliate by using 3 narratives to teach them. The first is the parable of the lost sheep. The second is the parable of the lost coin and the third is of the lost son. It’s not the stories themselves that my focus will be on, rather the message that appear in all three parables, the message of finding what was lost. Today I will focus mostly on verses 7, 10 and 32.
Luke 15:7 – The Lost Sheep
“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
Luke 15:10 – The Lost Coin
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
Luke 15:32 – The Lost Son
“It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”
All of these parables have one thing in common; something was lost and then found.
Jesus is accused of eating and being with sinners, so he attempts to teach the Pharisees with parables. Christ makes it clear that finding the ONE lost sheep was worth the shepherd leaving all ninety-nine to go and find that one that was lost. Then when the sheep is found, the shepherd calls out to his friends to rejoice with him (verse 6). Jesus ends this parable by showing that although there may be ninety-nine “believing” people, it’s the lost ONE that is important.
Jesus continues with the parable of the lost coin. A lady has ten coins and loses one of them. The woman searches diligently for that ONE that is lost. When she finds it, she calls her friends to rejoice with her (verse 9). Jesus ends this parable by showing that although the woman still had nine coins, it was very important to find that one lost ONE.
Jesus continues with the parable of the prodigal son. The younger son wants to take his inheritance and leave; so his father gives him the money and the son goes on his way. After he loses everything, he humbly returns to his father’s house. verse 24 “And they began to be merry.” Jesus ended this story by saying the son was dead and is now alive, lost but now found.
In all of these parables, we see the same message; something has been lost and then is found. Jesus was telling the Pharisees that to save sinners, they needed to be invested in them, not to shun or preach at them, but to befriend them.
Here’s what I found in studying…
The “lost” are not necessarily people who are lost to heaven due to sin. They can be Christians that have moved from the narrow path leading to God and eternal life to the wide path leading to eternal death. These “lost” could also be people who have not heard about Jesus or are confused and need help understanding.
The sheep represents the person who is falling away from faith. This tells us that God is concerned over EVERY lost soul.
The lost coin represents a believer, who has fallen away from the church. It’s the church’s duty to watch out for each other and to diligently search to save souls.
The last parable digs a little deeper. The elder brother represents the Jewish people who remained solid and hung onto God but became self-righteous, proud and eventually ended up far from God (like the Pharisees)
This parable shows that the father of the two sons, loved both equally. In the same way, God loves the Jews and the Gentiles equally.
Once humbled, the father took his “lost” son back immediately, just as if nothing had ever happened. God will also take back his humbled “lost” children as if they never left.
Jesus was attempting to get the point across to the Pharisees and others that anyone who is lost or those who have moved away from God are just as important as those who love and believe in God (and after the crucifixion, believed in Jesus).
God doesn’t have to take us back! Nor does he have to find the lost, save people or forgive our sins. He does it because he wants to and because he loves us so much.
Unfortunately, most of the Pharisee’s didn’t listen or take advantage of Jesus’ warnings to change their ways.
The job God has given believers today, is to find the lost (regardless of who they are or what they’ve done) and tell them about Jesus. That may even mean “hanging out”, or perhaps sharing a meal with sinners.
We need to keep in mind that we are all sinners and not one person today or throughout all of history deserves to be saved by Jesus. However God loves all of us and does not want to see, even one person lost.
I ask you Lord, to place the lost along my path, those you know I can help. Guide me and give me the words that would touch their hearts and open their eyes to you or to hear your call.
Help me to realize that not every person I talk to wants to be rescued. Help me also to remember that “I” am not the one to save people, you do that. My job is to pray and seek the lost and then show them to the way to be live once found. Unfortunately, not all will accept that offer.
I will praise and glorify your name each and every day. I will continually be on the watch for the lost and tell them of the good news of Jesus Christ.
I will continue to pray for those who do not know you, praying they will hear your call..
Thank you Father for loving each and every person in this world and that every one of them have exactly the same option of finding Christ and receiving salvation, as I did.
In the name of Jesus Christ, our Saviour, I pray.