Seeking the Lost

In Luke 15 we find that Jesus has been teaching. Some tax collectors and sinners had been coming to hear His teaching.  This caused complaining among the “holier than thou” Pharisees that Jesus was welcoming sinners who came near to hear His teaching.  It was at this point that Jesus taught 3 parables.

He taught about a lost sheep.  The shepherd left the 99 who were safe and went out seeking the one lost sheep that needed to be saved.

He taught about a woman who had 10 valuable coins and lost one of them.  She cleaned her house until she found the lost coin.

Jesus then taught about a man whose son left and ruined his life.  The son eventually came to his senses and decided to go home.  The father declares his lost, dead, son to be found and alive.

One common theme in each of these parables is rejoicing over the lost being restored.  The shepherd called his friends to celebrate the fact that his sheep was found and brought back into the safety of the shepherd’s care.  The woman was so excited over finding her silver coin she calls friends and neighbors to celebrate the event.  Perhaps the most touching of the stories is the man whose lost son returns.  He has compassion, receives his son, and orders the biggest celebration that family had seen in a long time to begin.  The great value of the lost being saved is emphasized in each of these stories Jesus taught.  There was great joy when the lost was found.

The Pharisees should have been able to clearly see that Jesus understood the value of each lost soul that needed a Savior.  There should have been rejoicing to see tax collectors and sinners coming to hear Jesus.  Instead, there was complaining and accusations.

We should learn some things that Jesus taught in this chapter:

  • It should break our hearts when we realize that some are lost.  We must know the value of a soul.
  • The lost need to be saved.  We must go out and search the mountains for the lost sheep.  We must sweep the house until the coin is found.  We need urge the lost child to come home.  The lost desperately need us to reach out to them with the word of God which is able to save them.  They need to be taught what they MUST do.
  • Rejoicing should be the response to a lost one being found.  Not cynicism, not complaining, not doubt … just rejoicing and helpfulness.

These lessons should motivate us to seek the lost and when they return, we will rejoice!

“I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”  Luke 15:7

“Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  Luke 15:10