Summary: no matter how lost or alienated we may feel, we are never lost from the love of Jesus
How many of you have a habit of losing things: your wallet, your purse, your keys, a document, an address, a phone number, a pair of socks or earrings? Have you ever noticed how hard you will search for it? Finding the lost thing is the most important thing in your life at that moment. What did you do? Did you just say, "Oh well, no problem, I can always get another one?" No, I imagine that you probably searched high and low until you found what you had lost.
God knows what it feels like to lose something; He is searching for something—but not because he can’t remember where he left it. He knows where it is. He knows who it is.
He’s searching for us!
"Lost" is being where you’re not supposed to be. "Lost" means you really know where you belong, or how to get there. “Lost” is waking up one day and realizing that among your most valuable treasures on earth, among your family members, there is one who is lost and you don’t know where to find them.
This parable of Luke is about things that seem to be lost to us, but aren’t to God. It is the greatest piece of news in the Gospels – in fact, it is the most important thing that God assures his children:
We Are NEVER Lost!!
In John 15, Jesus tells a parable to the Pharisees and Sadducees of the temple:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one found person than over ninety-nine who are safe. Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one person who is lost.” (Luke 15:4-10)
In the first part of the parable Jesus talked about a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of his sheep strayed away from the flock and became lost. Sheep are noted for their one-track minds (one could even call them ‘stupid’)—sheep often get lost, nibbling on greener grass and never looking where they are. Sometimes they even end up in a place where they become the eaten rather than the eater.
Every one of this man's sheep was important to him, so he left the ninety-nine and went to search for the one lost sheep.
When he found it, he was so happy that he called all of his friends together and said,
"Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." (Luke 15:6)
Some among us are like sheep—not necessarily because we’re stupid but because we get lost even without meaning to get lost— we never look up, chasing after whatever goal we are concentrating on—and before we know it, we’re lost. Sometimes we come to our senses on our own. But more likely, if we are like sheep, it’s because a shepherd found us. No matter how large the flock, it seems, shepherds have a sixth sense that tells them when one sheep is missing and will leave the rest in safety to bring that one sheep back into the fold. When the shepherd found the sheep, he called all his to celebrate that he had found his lost sheep.
I would imagine all of us know the picture of Jesus holding a ‘lost’ lamb on his shoulder. And we all know that Jesus is called the ‘Good Shepherd’ because He comes and finds us when we are lost.
Next, Jesus talked about a widow who had ten silver coins. Each of the coins was worth a day's wages. The woman counted her coins, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine. Oh no! I have lost one of my coins," she cried. When she loses one coin, she does not say, "Well, I still have nine others, that will just have to do." To a widow, in that culture, one coin could feed her family for a week; it had far more value than coins are today. So what did the widow do? She turned her house upside down until she found that one lost coin. She turned on every light in the house, swept the floor, and searched until she found the lost coin. And then she called all her neighbors to come celebrate because she had found the coin.