Lost Sheep

Luke 15:1-7
Now all the tax collectors and sinners kept coming to listen to Jesus. But the Pharisees and the scribes kept complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. He leaves the ninety-nine in the wilderness and looks for the one that is lost until he finds it, doesn’t he? When he finds it, he puts it on his shoulders and rejoices. Then he goes home, calls his friends and neighbors together, and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.”
Possible Points of Jesus
  1. THE PARABLE ITSELF, AND JESUS’ APPLICATION
    1. THE PARABLE – Lk 15:4-6
      1. To illustrate their own hypocrisy and inconsistency, Jesus challenges them to consider whether they would do any different by starting out with: “What man of you…”
      2. Any one of them, with a hundred sheep, but one sheep having gone astray…
        1. Would leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost one till he found it
        2. Would bring it home rejoicing
        3. And would invite others to rejoice over finding the sheep that was lost
    2. THE APPLICATION BY JESUS – Lk 15:7
      1. Just as they would rejoice over finding one lost sheep…
      2. So there is more joy in heaven:
        1. Over one sinner who repents
        2. Than over ninety-nine just persons in no need of repentance
  2. LESSONS TO BE GLEANED FROM THE PARABLE
    1. THE LOVE OF GOD FOR THOSE WHO ARE LOST…
      1. God’s love is a “seeking” love
        1. That is, He is not simply waiting for those who are lost to find Him
        2. But He has and continues to reach out for those who are lost!
      2. As evidence of this…
        1. God sent His Son to save the world – Jn 3:16
        2. Jesus came to seek and save the lost – Lk 19:10
      3. Therefore we should not be surprised to learn that His disciples are also to be involved in “seeking and saving the lost” – cf. Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-16
    2. THE JOY OF GOD OVER THOSE WHO REPENT…
      1. In this parable…
        1. Jesus simply says there will be “joy in heaven”
        2. The other two parables in this chapter will make it clear that God rejoices when the lost are saved
      2. While God is certainly pleased that “ninety-nine” are righteous…
        1. There will be “more joy” over one sinner who repents
        2. And rightly so, in light of what might have happened if the “lost” had not been “found”!
      3. Implied in all this is the thought that WE should have the same attitude of love and joy when it comes to the salvation of sinners!
    3. THE PRINCIPLE OF SEPARATION DOES NOT MEAN ISOLATION…
      1. It is true that Christians are to be “separate” from the world – cf. 2Co 6:14-18
        1. We must not be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers”
        2. We must “come out from among them and be separate”
      2. But does this require isolating ourselves from those in the world? No!
        1. Paul recognized that we could eat with those in the world – 1Co 5:9-11
        2. He instructed the Corinthians to eat with those in the world – 1Co 10:27-29
        3. Jesus certainly ate with sinners! – Lk 15:1-2
        4. And we cannot be…
          1. The salt of the earth unless we mingle with the meat – cf. Mt 5:13
          2. The light of the world unless we shine in darkness – cf. Mt 5:14
  3. CONCLUSION
    1. Indeed, love for the lost may sometimes mean that we have to…
      1. “go into the wilderness” to find the one which is lost – Lk 15:4
      2. Put up with those who may “murmur” because of our associating with sinners – Lk 15:2
    2. But if associating with sinners is truly an effort to “seek and save that which lost”…
      1. We are demonstrating the kind of love for the lost displayed by our Father in heaven, and His Son Jesus Christ
      2. We can look forward to the same joy experienced in heaven when one sinner repents!

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