Luke 15:3-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons.
12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.
13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
The Bible has all kinds of valuable literature.
--There is history - in Genesis and the Penteteuch.
--Sublime, inspiring poetry - in the Psalms.
--Authentic prophecy - in Isaiah and the prophets.
--There is great drama - in Job, and book of Esther.
--Rich wisdom for all ages - in the book of Proverbs.
--The incomparable love of God - in the Gospels.
--The practical application of it - in the Epistles.
--And what the future holds - in the final Revelation.
--In Luke 15 is a lost and found column, as our papers!
Life has its lost - things, animals, people, souls.
--Ever lost anything - besides money? Most have.
--Ever been lost, somewhere? Missed a road, or way?
--I was lost in a summer camp. And London, England.
--Lost - but found! Yet, what of many lost souls?
Three lost things, here. A sheep, a coin, a son.
--All important, valuable. Moreso, a son or daughter.
--Thank God, all were found! Which brought much joy!
First, Jesus told of a man with a "hundred sheep, loses one," he leaves the ninety-nine, "goes after the lost".
--Keeps looking, when he finds it, "lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing .. calls his friends, 'Rejoice with me, I have found my sheep which was lost" (v 6).
--Jesus adds, "I say to you .. there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents ..."
--That's Jesus, the Good Shepherd, looking for people.
Next He tells of a woman with a "lost coin." --Valuable to her, and "searches until she finds it."
--She turns her attention upon that which was lost.
--She finds it, and "rejoices .. I found the lost."
Don't you wish lost people were as simple to find?
We come to the "lost son" - most famous parable of all!
--Jesus told these stories to save self-righteous folk.
--Until we are "born again" in Jesus, all are like this son - we've gone our own way, out in the world.
--God both saves sinners, and restores sons who sin!
--In His great love!
God's love will not let you down. Nor let you off.
--And He will not let you go .. on and on as you are.
--"God is not willing that any should perish" (II: Peter 2:9). Aren't you glad the Lord cares about you?
Like it or not, humanity is a lot like sheep - easy to stray away, and rather defenseless from predators.
--Did I tell you my Dad, for a brief time, raised sheep?
--He soon went back to raising some cattle.
Notice, in verse 8, Jesus tells of a lost coin.
--Maybe, like this woman, you have misplaced something.
--She had "ten silver coins." Her living, probably.
--Or, maybe a headpiece, to signify her marriage, which is like losing the diamond from your wedding ring.
--At any rate, she needed this valuable coin to live on.
--Perhaps lost one tenth of her possessions! Costly.
What does she do? Like the shepherd, she looks for it.
--She "lights a lamp. Sweeps the house. And carefully searches .. until she finds it" (v 8).
--This dear woman, perhaps a widow, doesn't give up.
--As a result of her diligence, she finds it!
--Calls around, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece I lost" (v 9).
--Listen to Jesus, "I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (v 10). I tell you, that's wonderful.
--It is true, isn't it, the longer lost the harder to find.
Most coins, then as now, have some image on them.
--People, compared to coins, have God's image in the beginning upon us - but that image can wear away.
--And makes a coin - or person - harder to find.
--What truths, and lessons, our Lord wants us to see.
There's a lost sheep, and lost coin, and two lost sons.
--My friend, coins and sheep are valuable to an owner.
--But most valuable of all, is a son or daughter.
--Now Jesus tells us about this particular son, and his brother, in the rest of Luke 15.
No matter how many children, everyone is loved, alike.
--Parents'hearts go out to their sons and daughters.
--So does the Lord, to us. Yet, some will stray away.
All are familiar with the son we call the Prodigal.
--He said, "Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me." He wanted his inheritance right now!
--So the father "divided to them" (v 12), both sons.
--Each son given their share, like God gives free-will.
Luke pictures this family, home, servants, flocks, all the father's love, that the son left, for his world.
--What did he do with the inheritance? '`Wasted it."
--In fact, "he wasted it all .. on prodigal living."
--Money gone, friends gone, homeless and hungry.
--He "began to be in want" (v 14). A "lost" son.
Across the street from us lived a family of three kids.
--Two boys, and a girl who was often picked on.
--After graduation, things so bad, she ran away.
--For months, no one knew her whereabouts.
--I don't think they went to church. Only neighbors.
--One day we got a call from her, in Philadelphia.
--I often went to Philadelphia. Spoke to parents.
--"Would you, when you go, please contact her?" I did.
--A Christian family had taken her in. We counselled.
--Prayed. Wanted to take her home to WV. She came.
--Friend, being lost is a miserable, sad experience!
--Let's love the lost, and those wandering away.
--Love and forgiveness is the greatest reconciler!
We might tire of discipline, a spouse, home, or job or the Lord, or church, or prayers. Please don't.
--May I remind you, we take our troubles with us!
--Unless we change our life, we don't change our situation; just our location! Better to change us!
Did you see the degrees of the son's downward path?
--It began at home in a restless, rebel heart.
--Away from father and home, on sin's slippery slope.
--He,as many do, looked for joy in wrong places.
--Then, note the degrees of his restoration back home.
--We think the world can give us a good time, that sin is not so evil, and that there's no pay-day. Wrong!
--So,. straying away from our Heavenly Father is costly!
Like it or not, this pictures all who walk away from of loving Heavenly Father, and His House, in sin.
--Ask any in any rescue mission, whether sin is costly.
Sin takes us farther than we ever thought we'd stray.
--It keeps us longer than we ever thought we'd stay.
--It costs us more than we ever thought we'd pay.
Think about that. The Prodigal did. Was "born again"
--Recalled what he'd left and lost. His dad's prayers.
--"He came to himself." Headed for father and home.
--Separation is always our doing - not God's.
--Salvation is always God's doing - as we yield to Him.
--He realized Satan had deceived him! A changed man!
This father, others, had been praying .. watching.
--"When still a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck, kissed him" (v 20), the smelly, sweaty, sin-soiled son!
--That's like the welcome God gives to you or me!
This Prodigal came home. Humbled. Reverent. Changed.
--"Father, I have sinned .. no more worthy to be called a son." My friend, that's the way to come to God.
--"Make me a hired servant." But listen to his father.
--"Bring the best robe, put it on him. Put a ring on his hand. Sandals on his feet." That's sonship!
--Got him cleaned up. Dressed up. Looked like a son!
--Added, "This my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found" (v 24). A day of rejoicing!
Isn't that just like the Lord? Ready to forgive us!
--Doesn't give him a verbal lashing, or to a woodshed.
--Takes us to His heart of love, shown on a cross!
--When Jesus paid for the "sins of the world."
--That satisfied a just and holy God, for Jesus arose!
--We may have our cross. But share His resurrection!
I see the Trinity in these three lost things.
The passion of the Lord Jesus, in the "lost sheep."
--The patience of the Holy Spirit, in a "lost coin."
--The pardon of the Heavenly Father in the "lost son".
Friend, it is a tough world today, to be lost in.
--Jesus said, each of these lost were found.
--How about you? Are you saved? Sure .. of heaven?
--Salvation is not in a church. Creed. Or baptism.
--It is in a Person - Jesus - Who died and rose again.
--Be "found" in Him today!