BE SEEKERS OF THE LOST!
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ——Luke 15:1-10
Let us take a look at Jesus’ example to us. Those who were outcasts from society “were all drawing near to hear Him— tax collectors… sinners. The Pharisees and scribes took exception to this and disdainfully said, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus responded with the parables above.
The point of the first parable, at least one of the points, is— What/who do you value? In the parable a man who had one sheep gone astray and lost was valuable to him. He did not just ignore the lost sheep and think “well I still have ninety-nine left.” No, the man valued that single sheep so much that he himself went looking for that lost sheep. He sought and sought for that sheep until he found it. Because he valued it so much when he found it he rejoiced and invited his neighbors to come and rejoice with him as well. That which was of great value to him was with him again. He was a joyful man because of it!
The point of the second parable is the same. A woman lost one of her ten coins. This coin was very valuable to her. Just like in the first parable, she sought and sought until she found it. And just like in the first parable, when she found her the coin she treasured she rejoiced and called her neighbors to rejoice with her. That which was of great value to her was once again in her possession and she was joyful because of it!
Here’s the application for the Pharisees and scribes of that day, but also to us— “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Jesus also took joy in a sinner that repented. Should not the Pharisees and scribes also rejoice in this? How sad that they would not even mingle with this crowd, looked down on them and looked down on those who did mingle with them. These Jewish leaders did not see the value of people as God sees them. How about us?
Let me ask this simple question— When was the last time you or I rejoice and were filled with joy at a person that was lost being found by the Shepherd? Do you and I “look for those lost sheep” or are we content and comfortable in being with those sheep who are already found? Oh, let us have a heart for those lost sheep and be like Jesus who “came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Dear Father may this be so in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Jesus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yBzIt_z8oY