“Lost and Found,” The Lost Sheep

Lenten Devotions

A Walk through the Book of Luke

March 23, 2023

Luke 15:1-7

The Lost Sheep

“Lost and Found”

My wife, Kathy, and I both wear glasses. She wears reading glasses, and I must wear regular glasses when driving.

We took my grandson to the Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld about six years ago for the day. We were in Liberty Square when the daily parade came by. Kathy was in her wheelchair. My grandson and I sat on a bench and watched as the parade went by.

After the parade was over, we began walking through the park, more or less heading toward the park exit as we prepared to leave. At some point, my wife asked for her reading glasses. Unfortunately, her glasses were prescription, not the inexpensive over-the-counter type.

I realized I had left her glasses on the bench where we sat for the parade. So we quickly returned to the bench and realized the glasses were gone.

Honestly, I couldn’t imagine why someone would want her reading glasses. So, we walked to the front of the park where the lost and found was located. After waiting in line for a few minutes, I asked the person behind the counter if anyone had turned in a pair of reading glasses in a white case. The young man reached into a box, and there they were, the missing reading glasses. What was lost had been found.

Over the next three days, we’ll be reading and discussing three parables in Luke 15 that involve something being lost. Today, we’ll discuss the parable of, The Lost Sheep.

*******************************The Point**************************

Tax collectors, sinners, and even some Pharisees were listening to Jesus speak.

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Then Jesus told them this parable: “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 sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:1-7

This parable begins by telling us who stopped to listen to Jesus. They were tax collectors, sinners, and Pharisees. It’s interesting to note that Luke differentiates between tax collectors and sinners.

Tax collectors (like Jesus’ disciple Levi/Matthew) were known to be sinners, as they often kept a portion of paid taxes for themselves. In this case, sinners could mean anything from being a thief to immoral.

“It may, however, refer simply to persons who were not strict about fulfilling all the varied requirements of the ceremonial law. They were “sinners” in the eyes of the Pharisees because of their irreligious attitude.” “People’s Bible Commentary, Luke, Victor H. Prange, Pp. 172).

Once again, we hear the Pharisees mumbling under their breath about how Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors. As they murmured, they justified themselves as being better than Jesus as they would never do such a thing.

After all of this judging and comparisons, Jesus tells the parable of, The Lost Sheep.

For a shepherd to have a flock of one hundred was pretty standard. In the Bible, Jesus is referred to as the Shepherd and His followers as His sheep. There are times when a follower of Jesus leaves the flock. They either no longer believe or are “lost” because of circumstances that have occurred.

I’ve heard people say things like, “What kind of God would allow my child to die,” or, “My husband (or wife) left me for another woman (or man); how could He allow such a thing to happen.” “I’ve been out of work for almost a year; I’ve prayed, pleaded, and cried out to God. Yet, if He’s out there, I haven’t heard from Him!”

Then God touches their lives very specially, and everything becomes clear. They understand the why’s a little more clearly and once again reach out for their Savior.

This is when there is a celebration in heaven.

“God rejoices over he recovers of a lost sinner, and therefore it is Jesus’ supreme desire to seek and save the lost. This divine attitude is illustrated by the willingness of a shepherd to out over the hiss searching so that not even one sheep may be missing from the flock.” (New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition, Luke 15, Pp. 1005)

God always rejoices over those who return to Him repentant. However, he does not rejoice over those, like the Pharisees, who think they don’t need to repent because they are so righteous.

We are all sinners. And sometimes, we get a little lost in this world. But remember that our Good Shepherd, Jesus, is always waiting for His repentant children with open arms to return to Him.

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