Title: Three Parables of the LostNevember 10, 2006
Scriptures: Luke 15Reading: Luke 15:1-32
Three Parables of the Lost are the best-loved chapters in the whole Bible.Three parables bring out the joy of God when the lost sinner is found. (Luke 15:1-32)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:4-7): The rejoicing of an owner of 100 sheep who has found that last sheep.In the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent.God is a seeking God who actively seeks out sinners and brings them home. (vv. 3-7)
The ninety-nine are in no danger; they are found.But the safe possession of 99 is no substitute for the loss of one.There is joy over these, but more joy over the repenting sinner (v.7).So the shepherd keeps looking until he finds it. In the same way God is searching you and I.Are you the lost one?
The parable of the lost coin (Luke 15:8-10):The ten coins may represent a poor woman’ssavings.It would be a serious matter for a poor woman.And, like the shepherd, she shares her joy when she is successfully found it.God is seeking you and I, when we repent, God is very happy, too.
The parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son (Luke -32): He asked for the share of property, once he had control of his inheritance he soon set out to see the world.He wasted all he had and left nothing. He had gotten a job to take care of pigs.“He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything (v.16).And he found that pigs were more valuable than he.So he went back home to ask his father’s forgiveness.His father has received him safe and sound, and gave him a best robe and ring.His father’s welcome of the son, Jesus was teaching that the heavenly Father welcomes returning sinners.The dead has come to life, the lost is found.
Conclusions: Three parables bring out the joy of God when the lost sinner is found.God’s love is a continuing challenge to all of our repentance.The elder brother stay home did not waste any money, working hard for the field, taking care of house and family.It is a common human failing to think that we are not appreciating him that people do not give him or us credit for what we have done.God’s love is continuing challenge to all of us.That is why Jesus leaves the elder son’s reaction open is encouraging us.
Questions: 1. How did Jesus’ Parable of the Sheep relate to the muttering of the Pharisees?
2. What was Jesus’point about the woman was searching for her money (vv.8-9)?
3. How did these stories make you feel your value to God?
4. What’s the lesson for you in these three parables?
Feedback: 1. How have you experienced God as this father?
2. When have you been like the older brother, quietly resentful of God’s giving?
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