Summary: A sermon comparing the attitudes of the lost towards the Lord as opposed to their attitudes today towards the church.
“The Lord and the Lost”
Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 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?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
ILL - I’ve heard about a little six-year old boy who restlessly struggled to listen to a rather lengthy sermon. After the service, the little boy asked the question that sooner or later most "church kids" ask. "Dad" he said, "what does the preacher do the rest of the week?" The dad replied, "Son, he’s a very busy man. He takes care of church business, visits the sick, studies the Bible. . . and he has to take time to rest up. You see, preaching in public is not an easy job." The little boy thought about that and said, "Well, listening ain’t so easy either!"
Our lesson today is about one thing issue. I’m going to seek to answer the question, “How did Jesus respond to the lost and how should we?”
I. The attraction of the Savior
Luke 15 is one of the most winsome passages in the scriptures for it is the story of God’s love for lost sinners as told by our Lord in three parables. Millions have been drawn to this trilogy of tales about lost things; sheep, coins and most important, lost men. It starts with the appeal that the Lord had for the down and outers, the least, the last and the lost. This is a story of how outcasts can become overcomers. What was it that attracted these people to Jesus?
a. Sinners were attracted to His character – He was righteous w/o religious pride. ILL – Pharisee in the temple who thanked God that he was not as other men are.
b. Sinners were attracted by His compassion – He loved unconditionally w/o compromise.
c. Sinners were attracted by His comments – He spake with kindness and was non-judgmental. ILL – Women caught in the act of adultery
Mark 12:37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
Luke 8:40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
Luke 4:36 And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.
John 7:46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
Ill - At the scene of every accident there are three groups of people, each with a different response toward those involved in the accident. The first group is the bystanders and onlookers. They are curious and watch to see what happens but have little active involvement. The second group is the police officers whose response was to investigate the cause of the accident, assign blame, and give out appropriate warnings and punishments. The third group is the paramedics. They are the people usually most welcomed by those involved in the accident. They could care less whose fault the accident was and they did not engage in lecturing about bad driving habits. Their response was to help those who were hurt. They bandage wounds, free trapped people, and give words of encouragement. Three groups - one is uninvolved, one is assigning blame and assessing punishment, and one is helping the hurting. Which group are you in?
II. The attitude of the scoffers
Contrast what we have just shared with this second group.
a. They were indifferent – I believe the attitude that characterizes the church world today where the lost are concerned is the world indifference.
b. They were indignant -
In Gill’s translation of the phrase “this man receiveth sinners” The Persic version reads, "publicans and sinners", as in the preceding verse: the word "man" is not in the original text, it is only "this"; which is to be understood not by way of eminence, as this great person, this prophet, this master in Israel; but by way of diminution and reproach, this fellow; as it is sometimes supplied: the word "man" be very rightly inserted, for they took him to be a mere man;