Please Read Luke Chapter 15
The Religious Jews just could not see past their religious bigotry, Jesus was attracting all the wrong people in their opinion. Surely someone who comes from God would want to spend time with righteous people, not with sinners. They didn’t understand Jesus’ mission at all and to illustrate Jesus tells three parables one after the other to explain: The Lost Sheep; The Lost Coin and the Prodigal Son.
Luke 15:4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?”
The shepherd was willing to leave the 99 sheep to look for the lost one. Even though the woman had 9 other coins, she searched carefully until she had found the lost one. Jesus left His glory in Heaven to seek and save that which was lost. He is not seeking those who don’t know or realise that they are lost. But Jesus does makes Himself plain and offers Himself to all. This is what grace looks like: God giving us what we don’t deserve by seeking us and giving us a second chance. He is seeking the lost sheep and the things of value that were lost to Him.
Luke 15:7 “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
It is only right that when that which is lost has been found again that the one finding will be happy and want to rejoice. In all three stories there is much celebration.
This is especially evident in the most remarkable story, that of the return of the prodigal son. The son thought he knew better and decided he wanted his inheritance now, but then squandered it in good living. Isn’t that true of some of us; we want to live our best life now, not realising that is the wrong way around and the best is yet to come, that is for those who become children of God. Adam and Eve also gave up their wonderful inheritance because somehow they thought they knew better, Jesus comes to make that right. The Prodigal Son ended up in the pig sty and so low that even the pig food looked good. Interestingly, as good as life can be here on earth, a pig sty is a poor comparison of how broken this world is compared to that which we may look forward to once in His presence.
So the Prodigal Son decides to head home to try his luck as one of his fathers slaves. He had regretted his mistake and came back humbled and repentant and was surprised that not only was his father pleased to see him, he also came running to meet him, restored his inheritance and had a party in honour of his return. You can be sure that when you repent and return to your Heavenly Father, your inheritance has been made secure as a child of God and all of heaven rejoices at your home coming.
Luke 15:23 “‘…let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”
What a beautiful illustration of the Fathers love for that which was lost, namely us. Jesus came into the world to save sinners and to reconcile us to God the Father. Those who are in-Christ, were lost but have now been found. What could be better than that?
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found,
was blind but now I see. (John Newton)