Summary: This is a sermon based around the lost sheep parable pointing to Jesus the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheeps seeks out the lost with great rejoicing.
Lost and found: Luke 15: 1- 7 The Good Shepherd
Several famous people were asked what they felt was the saddest word in the English language. Here’s what some of them said,
• Poet T. S. Eliot: “The saddest word in the English language is, of course, ‘saddest.’”
• Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II: “But.”
• Writer John Dos Passos quoted John Keats: “Forlorn! the very word is like a bell.”
• Psychiatrist Karl Menninger: “Unloved.”
• Statesman Bernard M. Baruch: “Hopeless.”
• President Harry Truman quoted John Greenleaf Whittier: “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: ‘It might have been!’”
• Alexandra Tolstoi: “The saddest word in all languages, which has brought the world to its present condition, is ‘atheism.’” Put all of these answers together and you have a faint picture of a soul without Christ. I think of that word which Keats used so dramatically, “forlorn.” It is the English form of the Dutch word verloren, which means “lost.”
• Many of us are lost and we don’t even know it…George Orwell’s essays, offers a graphic image of human lostness. Orwell describes a wasp that “was sucking jam on my plate and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him.”
• The wasp and people without Christ have much in common. Severed from their souls, but greedy and unaware, people continue to consume life’s sweetness. Only when it’s time to fly away will they gasp their dreadful condition.
Here we have Jesus talking about lostness..... With a parable about sheep with great emphasis placed on the one lost sheep. He leaves 99 sheep yet one had goes missing in the country, it had wandered away, it was doing its own thing, it was completely lost... Yet the shepherd leaves the 99 in his possession and goes after the one lost sheep. Friends this parable is telling us that God cares about the human condition of lostness ..
• Have you heard the story of Shrek, not the film star, but the e merino sheep? Shrek had wandered and had evaded capture and shearing for 6 years? Yet His owner had never given up searching for Shrek. When he was finally discovered in his high mountain cave of New Zealand, he was almost unrecognizable as a sheep. The first thing his rescuer did was pin back his wool so he could see to walk. There was such an interest in Shrek’s return that the owner kept him in a pen for weeks so reporters and television stations could broadcast the amazing return of the lost sheep. And then, on live television, world champion shearer Peter Casserly shaved off 6 years of matted wool. As the shearer worked, he laid Shrek on his side with a foot of wool as his bed.
ARE WE LOST? How much is Shrek’s story like our story, haven’t we wandered away from God? The Bible says "we all like sheep have gone astray." We all have distanced ourselves from God.
You might feel a bit like Shrek tonight? Do you? Totally unrecognizable not like Shrek covered in wool who for six years had wandered, but all your life have wandered or maybe you’ve been wandering just for a few years, you have allowed yourself to become unrecognizable as you have wandered from the Good Shepherd, you are completely lost without direction, confused, lost in a very dark cave upon a high mountain and you don’t feel that there is any way out and you are completely unrecognizable, to the person you once were maybe you’ve always been that way and you feel that your sins have totally separated you from the love of God and a lostness has come over you .
V4 Here we have Good news: HE LEAVES THE 99 FOR ONE tonight HE IS SEEKING HIS LOST SHEEP OUT…Look I WANT YOU TO UNDERSTAND THIS THAT GOD CARES ABOUT YOU even though you are LOST….
• I want to tell you a story about Paul Morphy was the world’s champion chess player in the 19th century. One day he was invited by a friend to look at a valuable painting titled, “the chess player.” in the painting, Satan was represented as playing chess with a young man, the stake being the young man’s soul. the game had reached the stage where it was the young man’s move; but he was checkmated. there was no move he could make which would not mean defeat for him and so the strong feature of the picture was the look of utter despair on the young man’s face as he realized that his soul was lost.