Summary: Parable of lost coin, and lost sheep.
36. Who is Jesus?
May 15th, 2011
I lost my Coin, and my Sheep
Jesus finished His dinner with the religious people and went on His way. As He traveled crowds of people gathered around Him to hear Him speak and so Jesus starts telling them what it means to follow Him. He says you have to hate your father and mother, your children, your spouse, even your own life. What He means is that we have to love everything in our lives, including ourselves less than we love Him. He is not trying to decrease the love we have for our family but to increase our love for Him. Why is that important? Jesus is preparing us for to take up the mission of sharing His love with the world. Jesus mission is not going to be easy, so if we are going to follow Him, we are going to have to love Him a lot. When you love someone you care about what they care about. The more you love them the more you care.
Erica used to be a news reporter and anchor. In my life I never really watched the news. I just didn’t really care to watch a thirty minute news cast everyday as it didn’t really interest me. When I met her I started watching the news. I didn’t suddenly desire to see the news everynight, I cared about it because I love her and she cares about it. When you love someone the things that are important to them become important to you.
Open your Bibles or your bible apps to Luke 15:1. Jesus is showing us the importance of loving Him the most so that we can care about the things that He cares about. Jesus teaches us how to follow Him so that we can carry out His mission of loving and saving the lost people of the world. Jesus calls us to love Him the most, so that we can share in His joy when the lost are found. In this chapter Jesus tells us three parables about the joy of finding something that has been lost.
Lk 15:1 Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him.
Lk 15:2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Crowds of people start gathering around Jesus. The religious guys look at this crowd and they don’t see people, they see sinners. Lost and hurting people are coming to hear Jesus speak and all the religious leaders can see is that the people are tax collectors and sinners. Theses respectable ‘godly leaders’ would never associate with such dirty, ungodly, sinful people. Birds of feather flock together, so hanging out with sinners makes you look like a sinner. These religious guys would certainly never stoop so low as to eat with such filth. Jesus eats with sinners, talks with sinners, He even allows sinners to be His disciples. The religious leaders see this as a sign of moral failure on Jesus part.
The religious leaders actually start griping about how Jesus spends time with sinners. These sinful people are coming to Jesus to learn about how to live a better life and the religious people complain? This is like getting upset when a doctor heals one of his patients. They don’t like that Jesus, the popular teacher hangs out with the bad boys, the rough crowd, the people that smoke and have tattoos and vote democrat. They start judging Jesus by the company He keeps; He even let’s tax collectors follow Him.
Tax collectors were not the most popular guys. They were Jews who sold out their own people to make money. Tax collectors were in charge of gathering taxes for a region. A percentage of what they gather goes to support the evil empire of the Romans. The rest goes right into their own pockets. So these guys were professional thieves and extortionists. These were the guys on top of the pyramid scheme that took advantage of everyone else. They squeezed every penny they could out of their own countrymen so that the evil empire that ruled them could have more money. They were helping fund tyranny. So they were not popular. They were viewed as traitors and they were treated the way we might treat a terrorists. If you looked at the responses to the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead you’ll find a lot of Christians who said things like: praise God, now he’s in hell. Christians were happy about the fact that a person died without knowing Jesus.
This is how the Jews would have treated the tax collectors. If a tax collector died everyone else would celebrate. The Jews hated tax collectors so much so that they were not even allowed to tithe at the synagogue. You know you are hated when you are so bad a church won’t even take your money.