Summary: We are to allow Jesus Christ carry us, without resistance, now and till we are home forever with God.
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15.
We noted previously from Luke 14 that large crowds were following Jesus Christ as He walked the earth about 2000 years ago. We noted from the “Great Banquet” in Luke 14 that God loves every person. Here in the beginning of Luke 15, God tells us specifically that Jesus allowed tax collectors and sinners surround Him. Tax collectors were Jews who worked for the Roman Government to collect taxes; tax collectors were seen as “traitors” and were hated by the general Jewish population; just imagine Americans collecting taxes from you to give to China!
Because Jesus allowed tax collectors to be with Him, did that make Him a bad person? Some people accused Jesus of exactly that; was it wrong for Jesus to allow sinners surround Him? How did Jesus handle it?
Today, we Christians are surrounded by sinners all the time; we’re sinners ourselves; how should we handle it? Before reading our passage, let us together pray our commitment to the Bible….
Read along with me now Luke 15:1-7…..
v1-2: Jesus hung out with sinners and He was accused of being a sinner Himself!
How did Jesus handle the accusation?
Jesus told a parable, a story with a lesson, directly to His accusers.
What does the parable say?
v4: If you lose one of your sheep, you will look for it!
v5: Owner joyfully and willingly carries home a lost one found.
v6: Owner celebrates with his friends and neighbors in bringing home a lost one!
Jesus actually explains the parable in verse 7:
- The sheep are like people.
- Sheep lost is a picture of a person sinning against God but not repenting.
- A sinner who repents brings joy to God and in heaven!
Let us summarize the lesson and note the applications for our lives today.
a. God tells us, people are like sheep.
If people are like sheep, we can learn about people by noting what sheep are like? I found a website from the University of Illinois about sheep; here’s a list of what they say about sheep:
- just below the pig in intelligence
- grazers (will eat whatever is in front of them)
- will run from danger
- will band with others for protection but not necessarily like each other
- will follow each other
- will move toward another sheep or “friend”
- likes to maintain a “distance” with other sheep
(most people like to have 2 feet of space when near another person)
- “rams” are easily provoked
And so based on this, just like sheep, people can easily get in trouble!
Let us go back to the situation that Jesus was in; Jesus was hanging out with sinners, sheep who were lost! And what lesson did Jesus teach?
b. Like the sheep owner, God will seek for the lost.
And in light of what sheep and people are like, we can note 2 truths:
- God understands people’s failures!
And because Jesus sought sinners to be brought back,
- Every person is precious to Jesus Christ.
Why is every person precious to God??
Remember what Jesus said about the Owner and the sheep? Did the owner only own the 99 sheep who stayed? The Owner owned all 100 sheep including the one that ran away! Every person belongs to God to begin with!
And so, God will seek out people who are lost because they all belong to Him anyway; but what happens when the lost is found? Take a look again at v5 and v7. What does the sheep do when found and what does a person who is a sinner is found do??
Like a sheep who does not fight but allows His Master to carry him on His shoulder,
c. A sinner who is found by Jesus Christ must repent, turn back to God, and yield!
What are the main applications for our lives today?
First of all,
1. Just because Jesus hung out with sinners does not mean we should.
- Jesus’ reason for hanging out with sinners was to save them.
What are our reasons (godly or selfish)?
- People will think who we are based on who we hang out with or where we hang out!
Secondly, we are all created by God; all of us belong to God and He has sought us through Jesus Christ.
2. God has done all He needed to do for us sinners! We are to allow Jesus Christ carry us, without resistance, now and till we are home forever with God.
As we celebrate with Communion, remembering what Jesus Christ has done for us, let us quietly recommit ourselves to trust Him alone for life and eternal life and to allow him to carry us without resistance.