Summary: The encouragement of the Parable of the Lost Sheep is that Jesus is not interested in 99%’ He wants 100% in the Kingdom

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NR 8.00 12-09-04

Luke 15:1-10 Parable of the Lost Sheep

Story: The Diver

NR 8.00 12-09-04

Luke 15:1-10 Parable of the Lost Sheep

Story: The Diver

A young man who had been raised as an atheist –was training to be an Olympic diver.

The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend.

The young diver never really paid much attention to what his friend said about Jesus.

One night the diver went to the indoor pool at the college he attended.

The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.

The young man climbed up to the highest diving board, and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall.

It was the shadow of his body in the shape of a cross.

It was as if God was reaching out to him.

And so instead of diving, he knelt down and asked Jesus to come into his life.

As the young man stood up, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on.

The pool had been drained for repairs!!!.

(The Shadow of the Cross. From the Internet. Author Unknown.)

Both parables in our Gospel reading today –

The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Lk 15:1-7) & The Parable of the Lost Coin (Lk 15:8-10)

remind us that Jesus is actively looking for those

who are lost. It is never too late and Jesus never gives up on anyone.

In Jn 17: 24 Jesus says: “Father I want those you have given me to be with me where I am..”(Jn 17:24)

Many of us here today have our own story to tell – of how we came to know Christ.

Some us were brought up in a Christian family – as my wife Maddy was.

Others came from non-Christian backgrounds and met Christ as teenagers – and have gone on as Christians ever since - as I did.

Story: A good friend of mine Matt used to be a Christian and fell away. He well in with the wrong crowd and turned to armed robbery.

Let me just say - he committed many offences.

One day he said to the Lord: Jesus, if I am not shot by the armed response unit on a job, I’ll bend the knee to you.”

One day Matt was stopped in his car – without his gun - for a motoring offence. Once they realised who he was he was taken into custody – without a shoot out with the police armed response unit.

Matt kept his promise and gave his life to Jesus in Wolds Prison, which is where Maddy and I met him. We were part of the Anglican Chaplaincy Team in the prison, while I was still working for Reckitt and Colman.

And now he is taking Christian literature back into the prisons – heading up a ministry called “Beyond Bars”.

Our Gospel reading is all about the Matts of this world – Jesus doesn’t give up on any one.

The parable of the Lost Sheep is a story of hope for us all. God doesn’t give up on people – every one of his sheep counts!

There may be people here this morning who are sad because of family members who have slipped away from the faith of their youth.

Be encouraged – Jesus cares for each one of them and is looking for them.

He is the Good Shepherd who goes out to look for them and rejoices when he can bring them back to the faith.

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