Summary: Pentecost 17(C) - Our Savior, Jesus Christ, seeks lost sinners. Each one is precious in his sight. Repentance brings heavenly joy.
OUR SAVIOR SEEKS LOST SINNERS (Outline)
September 27, 2009 --
PENTECOST 17 --
INTRO: The center of Jesus’ earthly ministry was the cross. Jesus spent his entire life looking to the time he would die on the cross for the sins of the world. During his public ministry on earth Jesus did not forget about any believer. Jesus was always seeking the lost. "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd" (MATTHEW 9:36). Today’s text reminds each of us of Jesus’ great concern for the souls of every sinner.
OUR SAVIOR SEEKS LOST SINNERS.
I. Each one is precious in his sight.
II. Repentance brings heavenly joy.
I. EACH LOST SINNER IS PRECIOUS IN JESUS’ SIGHT
A. Remember that Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem for his crucifixion. There is so much yet to teach.
1. Verse 1. These are the social outcasts. They have gathered together to hear Jesus’ words.
2. Verse 2. These are the church leaders. They came to find fault and grumble against Jesus.
B. Verse 3. Jesus teaches with a parable for those with hearing ears that they may listen and learn.
1. Verse 4. This shepherd is caring and persistent. He searches for one sheep until it is found.
2. Verse 5. The lost sheep is not scolded. With joy the shepherd returns the sheep to the fold.
C. Verse 8. This example has a woman who loses a coin. This lost coin represents a day’s wages.
1. She lights the lamp, a very weak light. She sweeps the dirt floor. She persists to find one coin.
2. The shepherd and the woman each search until the lost is found. The lost are precious to them.
D. There is no one more persistent in seeking the lost than our Savior, Jesus Christ. In his ministry Jesus often took time to find the one who needed finding. Consider the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus traveled an indirect route to find this woman. The disciples were a bit impatient with Jesus’ extra effort. But this is exactly how the Lord Jesus shows his compassion to the lost sinner. Jesus is always seeking and ever patient because of his great love for every lost sinner. "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance" (2 PETER 3:9). Our Savior seeks lost sinners. Each one is precious in his sight.
E. Rejoice with thanksgiving that our loving Lord is patient. We are born into this world as the very enemies of God. Our sinful nature does not desire to know God or do his will. Our lives are filled with sinful thoughts, words, and actions. All too often we wander away from God’s flock. Just like the lost sheep we are distracted by our own selfish desires. We tend to focus a bit too much on our own needs rather than the needs of others. We may even focus way too much on the things of this world rather than seeking first God’s kingdom. "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (ISAIAH 53:6). We go astray wandering off like a lost sheep. Our Savior finds us. Our heavenly Father takes our sins away and places them on his Son!
F. When it comes to going astray mankind makes that choice. We wander off whenever we follow the ways of this world. Left to our own choices and desires we would be lost forever. Wide and broad is that path that leads to destruction. Many travel upon it. We can daily rejoice that the Lord Jesus Christ searches for us, finds us, and saves us from ourselves – for eternity. "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake" (PSALM 23:1-3). The Lord leads us. The Lord restores us. The Lord guides us. The Lord does this all for us purely out of free, divine grace.
OUR SAVIOR SEEKS LOST SINNERS.
Every lost sinner, each one of us, is precious in his sight..
II. REPENTANCE BRINGS HEAVENLY JOY
A. Both parables reveal love and compassion seen in the persistence of the shepherd and woman.
1. There is also rejoicing when the lost is found, verse 5. The lost sheep is carried back home.
2. Verse 6. Neighbors and friends are invited to rejoice.
3. Verse 9. The woman has the same reaction. When the lost is found this is reason to rejoice.