Summary: Our job as Christians is to seek out the lost and rejoice as they return to God.
Luke 15: 1 - 10
Intro: There is an old Jewish story of a farmer to whom God granted three wishes with the understanding that his neighbor would get double what the farmer wished. Wish number 1 was for 100 cattle / the neighbor got 200. Wish number 2 was for 100 acres of land / the neighbor got 200 acres. The third wish was that the farmer would be made blind in one eye. At that wish God cried. That farmer would be considered among the lost. Why? Because he was upset when he felt God was better to his neighbor than he was to him.
I Raise your hand if you’ve ever been lost? What caused you to be lost?
A Luke gives us 2 examples of things that are lost. The example of the lost sheep is very similar to Ezekiel 34.
B The shepherd who leaves the 99 to search for the lost sheep represents God. Sometimes we might feel like the 99 that God left to search for one that was lost.
C We all know people who are like that one lost sheep. They get separated from the flock perhaps when they move to a new community or leave the church over some issue. The 1st Sunday they miss they tell themselves, “It’s OK; I’ll go next week.” One week turns into 2 and then a month. Suddenly they find themselves lost and too embarrassed to return.
II VS. 2 – But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (murmered, to complain – diagangzo - ??a??a????).
A Everyone can find a reason to grumble, murmur, mutter or complain about someone.
B Have you ever wondered who complains about you?
C The point of these 2 parables is how we, the found, treat the others who are lost.
III Being lost in these two parables implies being separated from God. The reaction of the owner (God) is a diligent search.
A Think of the most precious thing in your life. How would you feel if you lost it? Losing something that is really meaningful to you causes you to search diligently.
B Lost things matter. Lost sheep matter. Lost coins matter. Do lost people matter to us as well?
C The things that matter to Jesus are missing people and those same people should matter to us.
Concl: It is our responsibility to search for the lost, doing whatever it takes to bring to God those who are lost. When they return we should rejoice as the shepherd and the woman did when they found what was lost. (See Vss, 5, 6, & 9) The question for us is this: How might we demonstrate commitment to love ALL those who are lost?