Summary: Lost People matter to God

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Introducing the Lost Parables

Luke 15

February 8th, 2009


Well told stores of lost things have a way of pulling at our heart.

One fine day in 1941, Violet Bailey and her fiancé Samuel Booth were strolling through the English countryside, deeply in love and engaged to be married. A diamond engagement ring sparkled on Violet’s finger—her most treasured possession.

Their romantic bliss suddenly ended. One of them said something that hurt the other. An argument ensued, then escalated. At its worst point, Violet became so angry she pulled the diamond engagement ring from her finger, drew back her arm, and hurled the treasured possession with all her might into the field.

The ring sailed through the air, fell to the ground, and nestled under the grass in such a way that it was impossible to see. Violet and Samuel kissed and made up. Then they walked and walked through that field hunting for the lost ring. They never found it.

They were married two months later. They had a child and eventually a grandson. Part of their family lore was the story of the lost engagement ring. Imagine the times of regreat the times o sorrow that accompanied every anniversary, every remembrance of the ring that was lost.

Violet and Samuel grew old together, and in 1993 Samuel died. Fifteen years passed, but the ring was not forgotten. One day Violet’s grandson got an idea. Perhaps he could find his grandmother’s ring with a metal detector. He bought one and went to the field where Violet had hurled her treasured possession 67 years earlier. He turned on his metal detector and began to crisscross the field, waving the detector over the grass. After two hours of searching, he found what he was looking for. Later, filled with joy and pride, he placed the diamond ring into the hand of his astonished grandmother Violet. The treasured possession had come home.

(Craig Brian Larson, editor of; source: "It wasn’t all bad," The Week (2-15-08), p. 4)


Transition: After all it was for the Lost that the Forgiver came.

Luke 19:10

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." NIV

Transistion: In Luke 15 Jesus tells three stories that help us understand how he sees the kingdom.

I. The Parables

—stories designed to teach—collectively referred to as the “Lost Parables.”

A Lost Sheep, A Lost Coin, A Lost Son

These parables reveal the heart of God and challenge us to become people to whom the Lost matter.

A. There are common elements in each parable

- Each story focused on someone or something “lost.”

- Each parable highlights the action of the owner.

- Each parable end with a recovery and rejoicing.

B. There is a difference in approach between lost sheep, coins, and sons

- The father does not go looking for the lost son.

- Each story highlights a slightly different aspect of the owners “search.”

II. Lostness what it means.

Luke 19:10

10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." NIV

• Lost to connection with the owner.

If something is lost it means in no longer connected, physically, figuratively to the owner. When a man loses his wallet, he is declaring he has no immediate connect to it. He doesn’t know where it is or what has happened to it.

If a child is lost the parents are not in immediate contact with the child they don’t know where he is, or what has happened to him.

To be lost is to be separated for the owner.

• Lost to usefulness to the owner.

If you lose your car keys they are no use to you. You can’t drive your car. you cannot use the item as it was intended to be used. Lost things cannot fulfill their purpose.

To be lost is to have no useful purpose for the owner.

• Lost to protection of the owner.

When you house cat slips out and wanders away. You are no longer able to protect it and the cat is in danger of neighborhood cars, dogs and other animals.

To be lost is to be separated from the protection and safekeeping of the owner.

• Lostness is correctable.

One of the most basic principles of lostness is that it can reversed. Lost things can be fond.

• Lostness can be tragic.

Lost things can be forever lost. Never recovered, forever separated for the their connection to the owner, their purpose unfulfilled, separated for the safekeeping of the owner.

III. The Setting

15:1 Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."

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