Summary: God Cares Most about finding the lost
Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World
GOD CARES MOST ABOUT FINDING THE LOST
Sermon - March 1, 1998
Steve Simala Grant
Think of the one thing that is the absolute most precious thing to you. Decide what it is. Now hold that thought in your mind, or jot it down on the sermon notes page, and we’ll come back to it later.
Jesus doesn’t usually need three stories to make His point, so when we find three parables back to back, making exactly the same point, we had better sit up and take notice. The point is this: God cares most about finding the lost.
Look in Luke 15.
Verses 1-2 set the scene: Jesus is teaching, and the crowd that has gathered to hear him is a rough crowd. Full of outcasts. The detestable. "Sinners." The people that no self-respecting person would be seen associating with. And so the "nice" people - the "religious" people start to complain. verse 2 says they started to "mutter". they start to wonder what on earth this great teacher - this Jesus who is so famous - is doing with that kind of crowd.
Jesus picks up on what is going on, and so he begins to teach, and he tells 3 parables back to back, each making exactly the same point: God cares most about finding the lost.
Just before getting into the three parables, who are the "lost"? The Bible teaches that anyone who does not know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior is lost. Jesus summed up his entire ministry with these words in Luke 19:10: "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” And before we get too excited about not being one of the lost, lets remember that, not so very long ago, each of us was lost and we needed Jesus to come to seek us out too.
I want to walk quickly through each of the three parables, then draw some points from the three together.
Turn to Luke 15:3-7
Luke 15:3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 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? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Don’t you think this shepherd is just a little crazy? I mean, he still has 99 sheep left... Its only one sheep that has wandered off... All he has to do is wait till spring and I’m sure he’ll have a few new sheep and be back up over the 100 mark...
But that is not what happens. The shepherd leaves the 99 and goes searching for the one. Why? Becuase that one is precious to the shepherd. It wouldn’t matter if the shepherd had 1000 sheep, or 10 000; if one went missing he would hunt for it. Not because he wants to have the most sheep, but because each individual sheep is precious to the shepherd.
Did you notice what the shepherd does with the other 99? This is shocking! Look at verse 4: He leaves the other 99 alone, in the open country. Now that is dangerous! There are wolves! There are theives! There are all sorts of dangers that a shepherd is supposed to protect his sheep from! How dare he abandon the 99 so that he can find one! Doesn’t he know that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?
Why would he risk the 99 to find the one? Because God cares most about finding the lost.
Lets look at the second parable:
Luke 15:8-10 “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? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
How hard would you look if you had a dollar and lost a dime? Or if you had a hundred and lost a ten? Oh, I think we might hunt around a bit - retrace our steps, check out a few possible places. But look at this woman - she turns her house upside down! She lights the lamp, gets out the broom, gets down on her hands and knees and searches every corner until she finds it. She does not stop until she finds what was lost. Though it is a short description, we can feel some of the intensity in her search - in her determination.