Lost and Found - Luke 15

Lost and Found

Luke 15:1-32

Sinners and tax collectors, the scum of society, were attracted to Jesus, and welcomed by Him.  They drew near to Him, because they wanted to hear what He had to say.  This drew a criticism by the scribes and Pharisees, who complained, "This Man receives sinners and eats with them."  Their complaint is the preface to the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost son.

These three parables have many things in common.  They each begin with something lost.  In the first parable a shepherd has one hundred sheep and one wanders off.  In the second a woman has ten silver coins, and one becomes lost.  In the final parable a man has two sons.  The youngest son journeys from the father's house to a far country, where he wastes everything and earns the title, "the prodigal son."

The second common trait is that they are all found.  The shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep, and goes out into the wilderness, seeking the lost sheep until it is found.  The woman lights a lamp, sweeps the house, also searching until she finds the coin.  In the third case, the prodigal son comes to his senses, and heads home.  A forgiving father sees the returning son, while he is still a great distance away.  He runs out to the son, embraces and kisses him.  The father says to the others, "This my son was dead and is alive again.  He was lost and is found."

The third thing that is shared in all three parables is joy.  The shepherd calls his friends and neighbors and says, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost."  The woman does likewise, saying, "Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost."  Finally it's the father who prepares a feast for the household.  The son is given a robe and a ring.  And the father and the servants "began to be merry."  They also rejoiced.  There is also rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents.

But not everyone was happy.  When the prodigal came home and the party began, the oldest son was out in the field working.  When he came near the house, he heard everyone rejoicing, and asked one of the servants what was going on.  When he found out that the festivities were for his wayward brother, he became angry.  He complained, and then told the father what a wonderful son he was.

In this third parable Jesus was telling the scribes and Pharisees that they were like the older son, who complained that his father welcomed the prodigal.  "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."  Luke 19:10.

 

O heavenly Father, You are the true Seeker.  While we were lost, You sought us and found us.  We rejoice in your goodness and grace.  Thank you for receiving sinners.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!

 

The Rich Man and Lazarus - Luke 16

 
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Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
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