Summary: Luke 15:1-7 - The Lost Sheep; Jesus Passion for Lost souls.

Lost, Found, Rejoice

The parables of Jesus

Luke 15

The Lost Sheep

Things About this parable.

1. Jesus loved people, all people. He seemed especially interested in those who knew they were sinners (that is to say it was an obvious fact in the culture).

2. Jesus did not just “preach” to these people, He spent time with them, he shared meals with them (a gesture of friendship and interest).

3. Jesus speaks in response to the Pharisees and scribes, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” – OT law, separation from all that is evil.

4. The parables in Luke 15 center around these key thoughts: lost, found, and joy.

5. In This parable Jesus does not use simile, rather, He uses an illustration, a well know fact (sheep get lost and need finding) to bring to light a fact no so well know (people are lost and need finding).

6. C.S. Lewis said, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” Jesus was on a business trip.

7. Joy in heaven – eternal Joy far more valuable than what we face here and now.


Remember, this is an illustration and not every part of the text is to be directly applied or given special spiritual significance. We must let the text stand as it is, a simple illustration, to explain a deeper truth.

I. The Scene

a. Read from “Bible Exposition Commentary” Vol. 1 pg. 233, by Warren Weirsbe.

II. Of Shepherds

a. Charged with keeping sheep

i. Tend to their needs

ii. Keep them safe

iii. Ensure their profitability and posterity

b. Rarely owned the sheep

i. Worked for a master

ii. Was financially responsible for the sheep

iii. Was expected to produce good results (good healthy reproductive sheep)

c. Did not work alone

i. Large herds of sheep were tended by more than one shepherd

ii. Each shepherd cared for a certain group of sheep

iii. At night, sheep were kept in sheep folds for protection from predators

d. Must be credible

i. To find work a shepherd needed experience (it was a hard job)

ii. To be trusted a shepherd needed a good name (does not loose sheep)

III. The Story

a. Lost

i. A shepherd is entrusted with 100 sheep

ii. 1 sheep is missing from the fold

iii. The sheep must be found

1. Duty – it was his masters sheep

2. Financially – He had to pay for lost sheep

3. Reputation – He long term employment depended on it

4. Self-image – He was a shepherd, a good shepherd!

5. Sheep were of economic importance

a. Sheep were an important economic asset. Most clothing worn by ordinary people in Israel was made of wool. The skins of sheep were tanned and used as leather. Sheep were also the most desirable of sacrificial animals, and their meat was served at the feasts and banquets which infrequently brightened the life of the average person. (Victor Bible Background Commentary.)

b. Sheep are an important commodity today!

Meat for our tables

From Sheep Hide and Wool

• Lanolin (used in lotions to help keep our skin soft and moist)

• Clothing

• Yarns

• Baseballs

• Insulation

• Tennis balls

• Carpet

From Intestines

• Sausage casings

• Instrument strings

• Surgical sutures

• Tennis racquet strings

From Manure

• Nitrogen Fertilizer

• Phosphorus

From Fats and Fatty Acids

• Explosives

• Chewing Gum

• Paints

• Make-up

• Dog Food

• Margarine

• Medicines

• Dish Soap

• Tires

• Chicken Feed

• Antifreeze

• Crayons

• Floor Wax

• Candles

• Herbicides

• Shaving Cream

• Shampoo and Conditioner

• Lotion

From the Bones, Horns and Hooves

• Syringes

• Gelatin Desserts

• Piano Keys

• Marshmallows

• Bandage strips

• Adhesive tape

• Combs and toothbrushes

• Buttons

• Ice Cream

• Record Albums

• Wallpaper and Wallpaper paste

• Cellophane wrap and tape

• Photographic film

So you see, sheep and lamb are an integral part of our every-day lives!

b. Found

i. The 99 sheep are left in the care of other shepherds

ii. The search does not stop until the 1 is found

iii. When found, the sheep is returned to the fold

1. (carried on the shoulders of the shepherd)

c. Rejoicing

i. “Let’s have a party” – I found the lost sheep

ii. Friends and Neighbors are called together

iii. The is an occasion for celebration!

IV. The Application (What does this mean for us today? – So what?)

a. Lost

i. People like the lost sheep are out of place

1. They are often unaware of their condition

2. They are oblivious to the impending doom

3. They like sheep blindly follow others


450 Sheep Jump to Their Deaths

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