Summary: The preciousness of God, God's Love, What's really Important
Lost and Found
You know, Jesus had a way of cutting through all of the
pretentiousness that he encountered during his time on earth here. He cut right to the chase so to speak. Jesus used to, as my grandmother King used to say “Just knock off the icing and get to the cake”
Jesus knew the thoughts in the hearts of men and he used parables to explain his message. He would use examples from the daily lives of the people so they could grasp the deeper meanings of his words.
The Pharisees were always looking for Jesus to slip up so that they might condemn him, have him arrested and be rid of him.
They were not looking at him as a savior but as one who threatened their hold over the people and the power that came with this control. Kinda sounds like the church today doesn’t it?
Jesus cut through all of the junk and got right to the point by talking about the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son, these were subjects that the Pharisees knew oh too well.
Sheep were a very valuable commodity to the Hebrews. They were used for trade, food, clothing, shelter, and sacrifice. They were so important that Jesus knew that they might get what he was trying to tell them.
Sheep need constant care. They have to be led to areas where there was enough good food and still water. Sheep are eating machines and they need to feel safe and secure or they will not be able to eat enough to survive. They are very skittish creatures. They will not drink from water. Left on their own, sheep will wander and get lost. They do not know they are lost, they are just eating, moving along from spot to spot looking for the greenest grass to fill their desires. The shepherd then will have to leave the flock and find the lost sheep.
The shepherd will go out and find this sheep and bring it back into the fold. The next day this same sheep may go off and do the same thing
over again and the shepherd will go out and find it again. If this bad behavior continues, the shepherd will break the sheep’s leg so it can not wander off again and the shepherd will carry that sheep over his own shoulders until the leg heals. This process takes about six weeks. During this time of healing the shepherd carries this sheep with the flock, cares for it, feeds and waters it, sleeps with it. After this time of healing has passed the sheep rejoins the flock and will never again wander away from the fold. Has God ever broken your leg?
There are many people in the world that fit this description. They don’t know they are lost. No one has ever cared for them or loved them enough to tell them about our great shepherd so they are just out in the world wandering, looking for greener pastures and finding danger, death and destruction going wherever their thoughts lead them until something happens to “break their leg”, to hobble them so God can get their attention. Then somewhere, someday someone tells them about Jesus and what he has done for them and they are made whole and are taken back into the fold. Then there is rejoicing! A party!
This second story we hear of a woman who had ten silver coins but lost one. Silver was another valuable commodity back then and for someone to lose a silver coin was a very serious deal. This coin may have represented several months or maybe a years worth of wages. No one today can afford to lose a year’s wages or even several months wages so it was a very serious deal.
Now you have to think back to what houses were like back then. They were dark, dingy and they had open windows. The leaves would blow in and accumulate. If the coin fell on the floor and rolled into a corner it would lay there and soon be covered with dust, dirt and leaves. The only way to find it was to do a major house cleaning. The furniture would be moved outside, candles and torches would be lit, the dirt floors would be swept out with a straw broom to find this coin., That’s how important it was to find this lost coin. Once the coin was found the homeowner would have a celebration.
There are a lot of folks out in the world who are like this. They had something of great wealth, maybe someone told them about Jesus and they followed him for a while but got careless and walked away from the church. They soon realized that they were lost and began to sweep out the dirty, dusty corners of their lives, their Spirit houses and found the precious thing that they had lost. One they had found that which was lost they were so overcome with joy that they celebrated. It was that precious and important to them.