Summary: The teachings of Jesus are a window, along with all other Holy Scripture, into the heart and mind of God. This is the 5th sermon in a sermon series on "The Way of Jesus", an initiative of my tribe, The Evangelical Missionary Church of Canada
Way Of Jesus #5 - Learning the Teachings of Jesus
We’ve been looking at the Way of Jesus anchors
Today’s is “I am learning the teachings of Jesus”
Meetings in office - best quotes are always from Jesus
Way of Jesus is about how to have a Jesus -shaped life
Jesus living his life through us
The teaching of Jesus show is a lot of things about God:
Desire to be known by us, and that He knows us completely.
Today we’re going to look at 3 of Jesus’ best known stories, from Luke 15.
Jesus always listened. And when he spoke he spoke the things they needed to hear in the way they could hear it.
Jesus is attracting attention. To the Pharisees he was attracting the wrong kind of attention.
And so the Pharisees were watering to themselves about Jesus: “this man welcomes sinners and eats with them“.
They were criticizing Jesus based on the company he kept. This was on their minds, so Jesus came up with three stories that directly spoke to their criticism of him, by talking about the kingdom of God. And how God thinks about people.
Lost Sheep Luke 15:3-7
What does this say about Jesus, about God about you and me.
Jesus is called shepherd. Great Shepherd.
He didn’t divide people between sinner and saint. Didn’t start w judging people on the way they lived their lives.
The religious leaders did exactly just that. You’re a sinner, you’re good. You’re a law-breaker. You’re not.
That wasn’t in His thinking.
Jesus wanted to reveal God, so he tells this story about a shepherd and his 100 sheep. 1 goes missing, one falls out of the fold. One makes a wrong turn, a bad choice - but he’s a sheep so he doesn’t know it’s a bad choice. That sheep is just following its heart.
The sheep for the shepherd on one hands represents his wealth; but the sheep isn’t just #100. The shepherd has affection for the sheep.
Any of you have animals? How do you feel about you cat or dog or whatever animal you have?
Their part of the family.
We have 2 cats. On occasion they sneak out the front door. Do we just let em go? No. They don’t know the danger they’re in. They don’t know they can’t protect themselves.They don’t know the dangers of that world outside our house.
What about the shepherd? Does he let the sheep go? I’ve got 99, I can spare to lose 1?
No. He leaves the 99 - theirs some safety in numbers - and he finds it.
Does he scold that sheep? Is he harsh with it?
No. He rejoices and joyfully puts it on his shoulders - no small burden to carry.
And he calls others to rejoice also to rejoice that his sheep has been found.
He is a joy-sharer. He is a lover of his own. He is one who rejoices when his sheep is found.
Jesus wraps this story with this: 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
His point, he shows us, is that God is really, really happy when one of us turns to him, when one of us is found. If we’re not found by God, we’re lost. It’s deadly hard to admit that. Takes way too much humility and honesty for most.
Jesus is that shepherd. He is God who comes to this planet, who reaches out to me and to you, who searches for us until he finds us. And there is joy, joy on earth, joy in heaven, when we are found.
Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10
What does this say about Jesus, about God about you and me?
A coin is wealth. It is tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the roof over your head that will still be there in a month. It is clothes for your children. It is earned. Sweat and time and energy has earned it.
To lose it is to lose or reduce security for tomorrow. These people lived always on the edge of things and very little stood between them and real hunger. The woman may well have searched with intensity because, if she did not find, the family would not eat.
There may have been a much more romantic reason. The mark of a married woman was a head-dress made of ten silver coins linked together by a silver chain.
For years maybe a girl would scrape and save to amass her ten coins, for the head-dress was almost the equivalent of her wedding ring.
When she had it, it was so inalienably hers that it could not even be taken from her for debt.