Lost and Found.
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells 3 parables.
The first parable inquires the listener that if they possessed one hundred sheep and lost one, would they not leave the ninety-nine sheep to track down the one lost sheep. When the lost sheep is found there would be rejoicing.
The second parable is about a woman having ten silver coins. She loses one of the coins and diligently looks for the coin. When she finds it, she rejoices.
In the third parable, we hear of a man who had two sons. One son came to his father asking for his inheritance. His father gave him his share and the son left and squandered that inheritance. Left destitute, the son returns to his father in hopes of being received as a servant in his house, but the father instead rejoices, places a robe and ring on his finger and welcomes him in as his son.
There are so many great lesson to learn from these parables, but let’s focus on the message Jesus was trying to convey by telling three stories to two types of people mentioned in Luke 15:1… tax collectors and sinners.
Let’s understand these two demographics so we can understand the context of why Jesus gave them these three parables. Tax collectors were Jews who worked for Rome, so they were considered traitors by the Jewish people and had a reputation for taking more than Rome required in order to line their own pockets… basically they were men who loved money more than reputation.
“Sinners” were generally considered to be those that do not carefully follow ceremonial Jewish law. This was a term used by the Pharisees to attribute to anybody that was not them! Because of their "dirty" trades (shepherds, farmers, etc) most people could not abide by the “cleanliness” laws the Pharisees enforced so they were called “sinners”.
Basically, Jesus had an assorted crowd. Much like our pastors of today that use every day circumstances to drive home truth in their sermon outlines, we see Jesus using parables to drive home a very simple truth that different demographics of people could understand… We rejoice when our valuable is lost and then is found. Whether you are a shepherd, tax collector, father, etc., we rejoice.
Even when there are people questioning our wisdom in our rejoicing, we still defend it! Much like the father defends his rejoicing to the other brother who felt slighted that he was not celebrated for his steadfastness. The father explains to him the value of finding the lost brother!
Let us pause and thank God and rejoice for what was lost! We, who were lost in transgressions and sin, were redeemed by the blood of Jesus… lost but now found! Rejoice in your salvation, rejoice in the your family and friends' salvation and PRAY for those that are lost!
Soli Deo Gloria