Summary: How to make the angels laugh (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
How to make the angels laugh – Pt 2
Reading: Luke chapter 15 verses 1-10
(1). The first thing needed for reaching the lost is compassion.
• Jesus had the "tax collectors and sinners" gathering around him.
• Notice these are lost people who were not running from Jesus but rather running to him.
• They were not avoiding him, ignoring him, or even hostile towards him.
• Verse 1 says that they were "gathering around to hear him."
Question: Why were sinners so willing and even eager to listen to Jesus?
• It certainly wasn’t because Jesus had an easy message that tickled people’s ears.
• Jesus message had a cutting edge to all those who listened.
• It wasn’t because Jesus compromised on their sinful lifestyles;
• And said that everything they were doing was acceptable.
• It wasn’t because Jesus was putting on;
• Some sensationalistic show of signs and wonders.
• In Luke’s narrative the emphasis is on Jesus’ teaching,
• And not on his miracles – they are hardly even mentioned.
• Why did the "lost" seek out Jesus rather than run from him?
• I believe the answer is they recognised his compassion.
• Unlike the Pharisees who showed a condemning attitude.
• Jesus showed a loving attitude – he showed compassion to these people!
• The Bible says in verse 2 that Jesus:
• "Welcomes sinners and eats with them."
• One of the definitions for the Greek word translated as "welcomes";
• Is to "receive as a friend."
• When D.L. Moody was directing a Sunday School in Chicago;
• One boy walked several miles to attend;
• Somebody asked him;
• “Why don’t you go to a Sunday School closer to him?”
• He replied;
• “Because they know how to love a fella over there”.
This was the attitude of toward those who were lost in a sinful lifestyle:
• He did not come to judge (to point the finger);
• But he did come to save (to forgive and renew).
• Jesus welcomed them;
• He was compassionate and accepting of them despite their sins and faults.
• He was a friend and not a foe.
• Jesus had a attitude that lost people were attracted to,
Question: Do we?
• For us as individuals and as a church if we are ever going to reach people;
• We are going to have to show and have that same love and acceptance.
• A friend of mine who is a police officer,
• Often responded to traffic accidents, some of them with very severe injuries.
• At the scene of these accidents there are three groups of people,
• Each with a different response toward those involved in the accident.
• The first group is the bystanders and onlookers.
• They are curious and watch to see what happens but have little active involvement.
• The second group is the police officers,
• Their response was to investigate the cause of the accident, assign blame,
• And to give out appropriate warnings and punishments.
• The third group is the paramedics.
• They are the people usually most welcomed by those involved in the accident.
• They couldn’t care less whose fault the accident was;
• And they did not engage in lecturing about bad driving habits.
• Their response was to help those who were hurt.
• They bandaged wounds, freed trapped people, and gave words of encouragement.
Three groups of people:
• One group are uninvolved,
• One group is assigning blame and assessing punishment,
• And one group is helping the hurting.
• Question: Which group are you in?
“For God so loved the world, not just a few,
The wise and great, the noble and the true,
Or those of favoured class or rank or hue.
God loved the world. Do you’”
(2). The second thing needed for reaching the lost is effort.
Quote: verse 4:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home”.
Quote: verse 7:
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
• Phone call: “Will you come and……….”
• My answer was; “No!”
It took effort to find the sheep and the coin:
• And it will take that same kind of diligent seeking for us to reach the lost.
• In these two parables,
• Jesus emphasizes the effort that went into finding the lost.