Summary: Through this parable Jesus calls the lost-but-now-found to be willing to carry the burden which comes with expending vigorous in order to bring about repentance and restoration.

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Luke 15:1-10

“Lost and Found”

My grandparents … who we called Opa and Oma … in their retirement had a Hiace camper van in which they travelled all over Australia with their Chihuahua called Snowy. Opa – well let’s just say Opa had trouble admitting he was wrong or asking for help.

One day they were in the middle of Australia and Opa was lost, but he couldn’t admit he was lost so he didn’t ask Oma. Oma knew they were lost but she didn’t say anything …

Opa drove 400km in the wrong direction before he admitted he was lost.

Some people get lost because they are stubborn.

When we met Alex, my now son-in-law, for the first time he came to our house. A little hiccup in the visit occurred when Alex rang Lorinda to say he was lost – the GPS was just not showing the way.

At one point in the journey he was near Kingsford Smith Drive near a blacksmith when the Navman announced he had arrived. When Lorinda found him he was only a kilometre from our house, but still no closer to finding our house.

Some people get lost because they get let down or lead astray.

People get lost … literally… for all sorts of reasons. But, even when they get lost others should help them … no matter what the cause of the “lostness”

People also get lost … spiritually … for all sorts of reasons. What is our calling when they are lost?

Jesus tells us a series of parables which focus on the lost. We find the parables in Luke 15. There are three parables:- the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost sons. We are just going to look at the first two.

Luke 15:1-10 read

Why is the sheep lost? There are a number of possible scenarios.

Sheep are not very bright so they need to be carefully watched.

Maybe it got left behind somewhere and then just wandered around.

Perhaps the shepherd wasn’t watching closely enough.

It is impossible to have a definitive answer – it could be lost for all sorts of reasons.

Why is the coin lost? This one is easier.

It is either because of neglect, or lack of diligence, or disinterest.

The owner of the coin or, at the very least someone who lives in the house, has contributed to the “lostness”.

But the parables aren’t about coins and sheep. They are about people. More specifically they are about the spiritual lives of people – and people are spiritually lost. Why are people spiritually lost?

Some are stubborn.

Some have taken a detour in life.

Some have become attached to false religions.

Some don’t know the right questions to ask.

Some are raised in atheistic homes.

Some are too lazy.

Some get distracted by materialism.

Some are trying to find a soft place to land.

Some are rebelling against a Christian upbringing.

Some don’t realise they are not in the right place.

Some find their status in their career.

Some are afraid they will be judged.

Some don’t want to make a change.

Some are too busy.

Some have been hurt by the church.

There are a 1000 reasons why people are lost – but you can boil it all down to one reason. They are lost because they are sinners who need to repent.

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 people who do not need to repent.

10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

John 15:7, 10

As we read this parable let’s be very clear – ultimately the lost are responsible for their “lostness”.

The ones represented by the sheep need to repent.

The ones represented by the coin need to repent.

We can’t remove that responsibility – each of us is responsible for repentance, or lack of repentance.

But there is another responsibility in this parable – one that falls on all those who call upon the name of Jesus. That is the responsibility to notice the lost.

The shepherd has 100 sheep … well he did at the beginning of the day when he brought them out of the sheep pen so they could go to the field to graze and drink water.

With a herd this size the one lost sheep could have gone unnoticed for some time. The shepherd probably noticed when the sheep were being brought back to the sheep pen near the end of the day. As they go through the gate they are counted … 96 … 97 … 98 … 99 …

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