Summary: A message from Luke 15 about the lost and found and the principles of the story.
Note: I used some commentary from Becoming a Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels
Lost and Found
Theme: To build a concern for the Lost
Text: Luke 15
There was something about Jesus that attracted people. People from all walks of life came to him. He had an attraction. I believe that one of the reasons was because he had answers. Whereas there were many people who had questions, Jesus had answers and he believed what he said. He was not as a man teaching from a book or bringing out a doctrine but he taught with authority and he taught from the heart. He was sincere. He really knew.
This attraction brought criticism from the leaders. These religious leaders had a problem with the people that Jesus attracted. He was surrounded by lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes. One time he even allowed one to wipe his feet with expensive perfume. This has been a major criticism.
For the religious people. You know the self-righteous ones. Felt that this was inappropriate.
MARK 2:16-17 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?" And hearing this, Jesus *said to them, "it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
See also Luke 15:2
It was not uncommon for Jesus to have disagreements with the Pharisees and scribes. These two sects made up the majority of the Jewish religious bodies. They had high expectations of the a Messiah who would come in a put them in charge of the world and its political system. When they realized that Jesus was not going to pander to them and their self-righteous attitudes they began to find reasons to oppose him.
The thing is that the disagreements that they had usually had to do with a strict observance of the law and lifting up ones self. Here the complaint they had against Jesus was the fact that he “associated with sinners and tax collectors”. He was never accused of being a sinner but in their eyes just the association is bad.
In their minds these were the lowest of lows of society and didn’t deserve to be looked upon much less associated with.
As I was reading this passage God spoke to my heart and said, “What about your reputation? Can someone say this about you?” Now I am not saying that we have to go out and act like sinners but surely we need to meet them and bring them to the Lord. We learn quickly that Jesus didn’t wait for sinners to come to him but he compelled them. He went to them. He even tells us to go to the “highways and byways to reach them”. What a reputation.
So to explain his position he goes into three parables. As you know Jesus often uses parables or stories to explain things of the kingdom of God.
Today I want us to put these three parables together and
I. People are lost
God separates up people into two categories those that are saved or lost. Those that have eternal life or those that are need it. These are all that are important to him.
The Lost Sheep Luke 15:4-7
The Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10
The Lost Sons Luke 15:11-32
A. Lost because of preoccupation with worldly concerns Luke 15:4 sheep wandered away.
B. Lost because of carelessness Luke 15:8
C. Lost because of usefulness Luke 15:8
D. Lost because of rebellion Luke 15:12
E. Lost because of self-righteousness Luke 15:29
II. God has a concern for the lost
The good news is that God is concerned for anyone who is lost. There is not a one who God is not concerned with. With this he actively seeks out those that are lost. As with the sheep he goes out with compassion and rescues the one. As with the lost coin he is not satisfied (nor should we be) until it is found.
He is often seen waiting at the top of the hill for that one to come home again. Greeting them with open arms. He is seen going out of his way to bring that one back in to enjoy the celebration.
Ezekiel 34:16 "I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment."
Luke 5:31-32 Jesus answered and said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. (32) "I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance."