THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
Luke 15:4-24 (NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Luke 15:4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7I 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.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
Luke 15:8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
Luke 15:11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
THOUGHTS FROM LAURA
I love these three parables. They all show us how God feels about lost people.
Sometimes we are like that sheep that wanders off. We take our eyes off our Shepherd and end up lost and alone. God shows each one of us through these stories how much He values us.
In the parable of the lost sheep, He leaves the ninety-nine to find the one lost sheep. In the second story, you are like the lost coin. The poor widow had ten coins, which was equal to approximately a day’s wage. That made that one coin special, and losing it was losing a lot. In the third story, God is showing you that you are valuable to Him; you are like the son. Children are so precious, and with this story, God is saying that you are that precious child to Him.
God will let you make your own choices, and we see this in the parable of the lost son. I think Jesus is trying to show us that God will let you go your own way. He gives us free will. God wants us to love Him and worship HIM with our own free will.
As I read these verses, I am reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, Reckless Love by Cory Asbury. Here are a few of the lyrics:
And oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
Oh, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
And I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away
Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God, yeah
There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down
Coming after me
The theme is no matter how far from God you feel, He is still searching for you. When the shepherd lost his sheep, he left the ninety-nine others in the field to go search for the one that was lost. When the widow lost her coin, she swept the house until it turned up. When the father lost his son, though he didn’t go off searching for him, we get the impression that daily, he stood on the porch looking, hoping to see his son coming home.
If you or your loved one has fallen away from God, rest assured that He not only loves you, He is looking for you.