Suppose one of you, or put yourself in this story. Did the sheep get it self lost, or did you, in this story responsible for the sheep, lose the sheep? How did Jesus word it? Let me ask a different way. Have you ever lost your keys or something important? Did the keys get themselves lost, or did you, responsible for your keys, lose them?

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 15

Suppose One of You Lost A… (Luke 15:1-10)

By Delbert Young

Suppose One Of You Lost A… – Luke 15:1-7

Scriptures: Luke 15:1-2, Luke 15:3-7, Luke 15:4, Luke 15:4, Luke 15:7

It may be needful to remind us there are no chapters or verse breaks in the original. Jesus didn’t stop and say, “Ok. This is Luke chapter 15 verse 1,” as he talked to a large crowd about the cost of being his disciple. An important point is the last thing he said was, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luk 14:35). Next verse says,

Luke 15:1-2 NOW the TAX COLLECTORS AND “SINNERS” were ALL gathering around TO HEAR HIM. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law MUTTERED, “THIS MAN WELCOMES SINNERS AND EATS WITH THEM.”

I want to setup the context and throw out what we will be looking to see. Who was attempting to have ears to hear? Tax collectors and sinners. Though they were nothing like Jesus, they liked him and were comfortable around him. The holiest, purest, most righteous person to ever walk this planet welcomes sinners and eats with them. When Jesus is projected correctly all “sinners” enjoy being around.It’s the religious people who muttereddiagogguzo {dee-ag-ong-good’-zo}to murmur among one another, indignantly complaining. Religious people were (and do) messing up the whole thing with their muttering. A reason we don’t do better at this is because of condemnation from religious people.

Religious people continue to mutter today, but the outcast and sinners do not continue to gather and hearthe Christ in the earth today. The church is called “the body of Christ” (1Co 12:27) meaning it is supposed to function as if it were Jesus on earth. This means the closest you and I will ever get to Jesus on earth in some sort of physical way to touch, see, feel, and hear him is supposed to be church. So, why is it sinners and outcast, even most people who call themselves Christians, don’t want to gather and have ears to hear at church? Why is it over the years the church hardly, if at all, reflects Jesus? What are we missing? What are we doing wrong?

The Pharisees and the teacher of the law despised the outcasts and sinners. Religious people pride themselves for being separated from the non-religious. Jesus will show us in our study how totally out of touch with God this concept is. To God, the lost one is more important than the ninety-nine secure. This is the big idea and so difficult for us to get our heads around and I’ll attempt to help us.

Most Christians today ask, “How can Jesus accept them? They’re Democrats or Republicans, or they do drugs, or they’re divorced, or they’re gay, or they’re liberal, or they have tattoos. God doesn’t accept ‘ALL’sinners, does he?” The point is God not only accepts and will have a relationship with anyone, he diligently searches and waits for everyone. This is the context of the four following very familiar stories.

Luke 15:3-7 Then Jesus told them this PARABLE: “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.

We should know parable is parabole {par-ab-ol-ay’}a placing of one thing by the side of another, juxtaposition [combination], as of ships in battle. A parable is a story positioning itself along side us. We’re unsuspecting, vulnerable, and somewhat defenseless to a story. We allow a story to fire its cannons into our lives not realizing we’ve been blasted until the assaulting ship sails away. Jesus is genius at this and 2,000 years later he aligns along side us and blasts into our hearts.

Luke 15:4 “SUPPOSE ONE OF YOU has a hundred sheep and LOSES ONE of them.

Suppose one of you, or put yourself in this story. Did the sheep get it self lost, or did you, in this storyresponsible for the sheep, lose the sheep? How did Jesus word it? Let me ask a different way. Have you ever lost your keys or something important? Did the keys get themselves lost, or did you, responsible for your keys, lose them? When someone is lost, it’s our responsibility. Perhaps we should have done better watching, but definitely our responsibility to find them. Who is it you should be searching and tracking down?

Luke 15:4 “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?

How long does he search? When you lose something of value, the lost item becomes the total focus of your attention, not the things secured.

We were at a 4th of July event a few years back with our entire family. It was a large event at a country club with over a thousand people gathered to celebrate, eat, and watch fireworks. It was getting late as our son and his wife came walking to where Judy and I sat. He asked if one of their sons, Michael Lance, was with us. He wasn’t. Everyone else was accounted for. We all realized Michael Lance was alone and lost, at least lost as far as we were concerned. I could see and felt all kinds of emotions flooding everyone. I immediately jumped up and hurriedly headed for the last place I remembered seeing my grandson. Everyone did. We left every other member of our family. They were secure. Only one was lost. He was the total focus. I went into the crowd to find the one. Fear! Panic! Anxiety! Urgency! Worry and every emotion imaginable whelmed me. Relationship with my grandson could be in jeopardy. Rushing through the crowd of people scanning, looking and going from one end to the other stopping only to peer into a game or area my grandson could be. I know my blood pressure was up. My heart beat rapidly. I feared predators. I feared what could be happening to him. I hated knowing he likely was frightened being separated from the only people he knew there. I was on a mission. We were relentless. It was getting dark. Suppose one of you…

Not one time did I stop and say, “Well, I have three more grandsons. What’s the big deal if I lose one?” The thought never came into my mind. At that moment Michael Lance was the most important grandchild I had. The others were secured. It was all about finding the one grandson and it was our responsibility to find him. Suppose one of you…

Do you think we rejoiced when he was found safe? He did nothing wrong. Those responsible to watch him thought Michael Lance was with them exactly as the one responsible for watching the sheep thought “fluffy” was with the ninety nine. Blame and responsibility became irrelevant. All that mattered was my grandson was found and back in relationship with his father and family.

Luke 15:7 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.

This statement sort of throws us. I’ve heard preachers say Jesus was being sarcastic towards the Pharisees who thought they didn’t need to repent. No. Heaven gets happier over one sinner who repents – who puts their faith in Jesus – than over ninety-nine who have already put their faith in Jesus and do not need to repent.

Maybe we understand this better now. Wouldn’t it be great if we were as concerned about and happy a sinner was found as we are about finding a lost child or something valuable?

Those people hearing the parabole may think, “So, I’m a dumb lost sheep? That’s how God sees me? Lost? Well, I’m not lost. I’m right here. Anyone around here feel like their lost? Anyway, how can God lose me? I thought God knew everything about everyone – the omnipotent thing. Jesus, you said Father God has all my hairs numbered (Luk 12:7). So, how can God lose me?”

Jesus isn’t talking about being lost location-ally. He’s talking about being lost relationally. God knows our physical location. What God lost was a relation with the person. It’s supposed to be a father-child bond. It’s for this God is searching and it’s for this God gets so happy.

Jesus says you want to know why I welcome outcasts and sinners and make friends with them, from God’s perspective, they’re lost. Exactly as you would chase down a child (sheep), I came to seek and track down the lost. He told them, you want to know what gets heaven excited. It’s not all the righteous people gathering together to sing songs on Sunday. That’s good and they should, but if you want to know what Father and the angels in heaven get excited, sing, and dance over it’s when one sinner is tracked down and brought home! The sheep didn’t find its way home. It was tracked down and joyfully carried home. So, who are you tracking down? Anyone? Or, do we just mutter? That’s the cannon blast Jesus pulls along side and fires into our hearts from this parabole.

Other Related Sermons:

I SEE GRACE pt 2 – Easter sermon video audio notes

Easter Blood Sacrifice – sermon video audio notes

Easter Nonsense – sermon video audio notes