Saturday, March 30, 2013

Luke 15:1-10

v. 2 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."  Jesus was never afraid of what people thought of Him.  There will be judgmental people throughout out lives yet their opinions are just that - opinions.  They do not reflect reality or truth when coming from a place of hatred or jealously.  The Pharisees went out of their way to avoid "unclean" people.  Jesus knew their hearts were more important than any outward appearances or perceived uncleanliness. 

v. 3-10 "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not 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. Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one.  Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  She calls her friends to say 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.'  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents

One of my favorite stories in the bible.  I know I say that a lot, but I have many that are my favorite.  This one is fitting for me since I was the lost sheep who got rescued by the Shepherd.  Some may think that a shepherd leaving the 99 to go get the 1 is foolish, but the Shepherd does not want to lose a single one of His sheep.  The 99 were safe because they were in the fold, the 1 was in danger and needed to be found.  Each sheep is more valuable than they know.  I was a lost sheep and knowing that my Shepherd came and found me to save me is something that still makes me cry.

For those who have been lost like me can you believe that there is more rejoicing when we repent than righteous people?  We are a collective in the Kingdom, but each one of us is so valuable that angels rejoice when we are found!  It's that amazing?  Despite what seemed like a lost cause, we finally are home.  Sometimes when I hear a story about someone who either walked away from God and came back or someone who just found Him for the first time I am so overjoyed that I start crying. 

Palestinian women received ten silver coins as a wedding gift.  Besides their value, they must have been sentimental like a wedding ring today.  What if you lost your favorite piece of jewelry?  You would tear apart your house to find it and would be so happy once it was found. 

In the search:
  • No rejoicing - he is anxious for the lost
  • No hesitation - despite the time, energy, darkness of night, he still pursues the lost
  • No anger - even though the sheep has cost him dearly, he counts it as nothing
  • No pause - love makes him forget himself and renews his strength
  • No giving up the search - he will not return defeated
At the capture:
  • Wanderer found - safe in his arms
  • Weight borne - the lamb rides on the shepherds shoulders
  • Distance traveled - shepherd traveling painfully the length of road the sheep wandered so wantonly
  • Shepherd rejoicing - the sheep is so dear that its weight is a load of love
  • Sheep rejoicing - it has been found and now is safe, its perfect restoration secured
In the home bringing:
  • Jesus must carry us the distance, we can not make it on our own
  • If you are in the fold then you are family
  • Jesus loves when others rejoice for their brothers & sisters
  • Repentance is being brought home, the angels rejoice for each one of us
  • One sinner can make all heaven glad                                     
A little boy, in a Christian family in Amoy (China) wished to make a profession of religion and was told he was too young.  The boy replied 'Jesus had promised to carry the lambs in his bosom.  I am only a little boy; it will be easier for Jesus to carry me.'
                                                                                                                        Spurgeon's Sermon Notes

"General Garibaldi, an Italian officer in the 1800's was on his way home when he met a shepherd sad over the loss of his sheep.  Garibaldi launched a search with his soldiers and they searched through out the night.  The soldiers were ordered back to bed since the sheep was not found.  The next morning Garibaldi's attendant found him sleeping.  He was very surprised since the general was always the first up in the morning.  The attendant came back later and woke the general up.  When the general woke the attendant saw the general pull out a lamb from under the covers and was told to take it back to the shepherd.  The general had kept up the search through the night after everyone else had gone to bed, until he found it."

                                                                                                                         The Preachers' Monthly

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