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Luke 15

“Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15:10

Today’s chapter contains three of the most well known parables in the bible. Some of us grew up learning them in Sunday school and others more recently in bible study and Sunday morning messages. There is a common thread of truth woven throughout these stories. We would be amiss to just skim over them and not grasp the message being taught. In these three parables Jesus shows us a glimpse of our Father’s heart and what our appropriate response to the lost, should be.

#1 – The Lost Sheep (vs. 3-7)

#2 – The Lost Coin (vs. 8-11)

#3 – The Prodigal/”Lost” Son (vs. 11-31)

In all three stories something or someone is lost.

All three of these lost things are valuable. He makes His point by using three different examples to touch the soft spot of His audience’s hearts. The sheep could represent our possessions. The coin, our security in finances and the son, of course, is our children and/or family members. Which one speaks loudest to you? Which holds the greatest value in your life?  The message is the same. Jesus knows that we all have different priorities in life and gives these examples as such, to ring true to each of us individually.

In all three stories they are found.

The shepherd finds the sheep, after methodically, lovingly searching for his lost lamb. The coin is found by the woman tenaciously looking high and low and the son returns to his father, after realizing the truth that genuine honor and acceptance is found at home.

In all three stories, there is rejoicing.

Here we find the truth for us today. The shepherd gathered his friends and neighbors (vs. 6). The woman rejoiced with her neighbors and friends (vs. 9) and the father threw his son a huge celebration feast (vs. 23).  There is a party in heaven every single time a lost sinner returns home and is “found.” Take note that Jesus is telling these parables to the Pharisees while they are judging Him for spending time with sinners and eating with them. (vs. 2) Of course Jesus was spending time with sinners! He came to redeem sinners and restore their relationship with God. In verses 25-30 we see the older brother’s response to his younger brother returning home. Was he right in the facts that he was saying? “Yes,” but he was wrong in the bitterness against his brother. His pride and self-righteousness stood in the way of being able to celebrate his brother’s return home. Soldier; let us not fall into the same response as the older brother and Pharisees. It is not up to us to judge whether or not someone is worthy of grace and forgiveness. We all have “sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Thank You God that you sent Jesus to fellowship with sinners. Let us never forget when we were lost and you did not relent until we were found. Thank you for not turning us away when we returned back to you and you restored us as your sons and daughters.