Summary: From the parables of the lost possessions as told by Jesus, this sermon draws several important messages including a call to unbelievers to get out of their lost status and come to Jesus Christ, and also a challenge to believers to aggressively participat
LOST BUT FOUND
Text: Luke 15: 1 – 36 (KJV)
Pastor Zacch Olorunnipa
Losing and finding things is a life long phenomenon even form the Biblical times. For example, in Leviticus 6: 1-4 God spoke to Moses and said anyone who finds a lost item and lie about it has committed sin. In Deuteronomy 22: 1-3 it is instructed that a person who finds any of his brother’s lost possessions must restore them. When Saul was sent to find the lost asses of his father Kish, he did not only get the news that the asses had been found, he also got anointed (by Prophet Samuel) as the first king of Israel (1 kings 9:1 to 10:1). Do you know there could be a miracle tied to that which you have lost? Keep the search on. As the Bible says “…we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
A loss occurs when an item is missing. The missing item may take various forms and values. It could be tangible or intangible like missed opportunity. Tangible losses may be in form of money, house, car, bicycles, food, clothing, pen, animal, human beings, etc. I remember when my daughter was about 4 years old and got missing in a departmental store where she went shopping with her mother. While her mom was busy looking for her all over the store, my little smart girl went to the customer service section crying and screamed “my mom is missing”. Thank God for the lost and found unit, my wife and daughter were reunited. That brought great joy to my wife and the rest of the family when later we had the episode. Whatever you have lost in life, I pray that you will recover and your joy will increase in Jesus name.
There could be no loss greater than that of a person’s soul. The primary reason Jesus came into the world was to find lost souls. He declared “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matt. 15:24). His efforts to reach out to sinners drew a lot of accusations and criticisms from his stark enemies, particularly the Sadducees and Pharisees. The focus of this sermon is on one of those wrongful indictments and how Jesus handled it with a parable. The parable has three dimensions - the lost sheep, the lost silver and the lost son (Lk. 15: 1-32). Jesus Christ used this parable (or these parables) to counter the accusation of his enemies and to shut their mouths. In this season, God will give you words of wisdom to conquer your accusers and to shut up their mouths in Jesus name.
Let us examine these parables in terms of the following outline:
(1) The Missing Possessions of the Parables
(2) The Mathematical Progression in the Parables
(3) The Marvelous Parties of the Parables
(4) The Main Messages of the Parables.
I pay that the Holy Spirit will enlighten our wisdom as we proceed in Jesus name.
1. The Missing Possessions
When Jesus was accused of receiving and eating with sinners he answered with three parables each of which involved the loss of something precious. The first 2 parables each came in form of a question. The first question goes like this, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it” (Lk. 15: 4). The second question posed goes thus “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?” (Lk. 15:8). Jesus Christ provided the right answers to these questions indicating that in each case the owner of the lost property (sheep or silver coin) would rejoice and celebrate after finding that which was lost. Educating his audience further, Jesus Christ pointed out that, as the sheep owner and the coin owner rejoiced and celebrated on finding the lost items, so will there be celebration in heaven in the presence of angels over one sinner that repents.
The third parable, as told by Jesus, is what is typically called the parable of the prodigal son in which a father lost the younger of his two sons (Lk. 15: 11 – 32). Perhaps signifying that human beings are more important than animals and money, Jesus Christ devoted approximately three times more space (7 verses as opposed to 22 verses) to discussing this third dimension than the first two combined. As the parable goes, it was the younger son who came to the father and demanded to be given his portion of inheritance. A few days after the father consented, the prodigal son packed his things and left home (for a far country) where he wasted his resources with riotous living. After he has wasted all his sources and due to a great famine that ensued, survival became a big problem for the young man. He took a job feeding pigs and went so low as to be competing with the pigs in eating the husks fed to them. Though the prodigal son knew it was abominable for a Jew to be in contact with pigs, he has gotten himself so messed up that he had no other choice than to tend and share pigs’ feed.