Faithlife Sermons

The One

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view

tax receipts’
board member nominations - last chance today
alpha - no alpha this friday
AGM - march 26th after service, readers in the lobby and will be emailed out, potluck between service and agm No prayer meeting

Luke 15:1–2 NIV
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Between the pharisees and jesus, there was a BIG question:

What does God want from us?

Now here’s the thing - both Jesus and the pharisees had similar GENERAL answers - the point is to do God’s will
But they had RADICALLY different perspectives on how to do either one of those (Spoiler alert - Jesus was the correct one).
The pharisees knew that God wanted obedience. But their way to obedience was through rules.
and in their defence - they were given rules. But they were also given great expectations. ‘Here’s rules on diet’ - but also, be a blessing to the nations. Here’s how you tithe - but also, fight for justice for all.
And they ignored the big picture items that God wanted for them, and ran after the little rules that he had set in place.
Then Jesus tells them this parable.

The Parable of the Sheep

Luke 15:3-6 “Then Jesus told them this parable: “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? 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.’”
Now, Jesus takes a hard dig at the pharisees here. He picks a story about a shepherd.
And the pharisees know - God is our shepherd. Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
So he says to them, suppose one of you guys had a hundred sheep and one wandered off. What would you do?
Pat the other sheep on the back.
Feed the other sheep extra, because THEY didn’t wander away.
Start distancing yourself from sheep who are starting to wander the outskirts of the flock.
Hold meetings with the remaining sheep, reminding them about how bad the outside sheep are, and how they’re the good ones.
Even they know the right path of action - go looking for the lost one. Go find it, bring it back. It’s your stuff.
But here’s where the parallel falls apart.

Jesus loves us all more than we could possibly imagine

Have you ever lost something, and found it after months - or years?
Finding that thing again can be a moment of joy - but it’s also hugely frustrating.
Have you ever lost some…one?
Getting that person back is a whole other ballgame. It’s not like finding lost keys, or coins in the couch cushions. It’s a reason to celebrate.
The sheep wandering off - it was probably usually more of a headache.
The pharisees saw other people, the LOST people, as the problems.

Jesus sees ‘the lost’ as the prize

Finding that one sheep - that wasn’t an ‘inconvenient part of the job’ for jesus. That was the victory condition.
Luke 5:31–32 NIV
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus didn’t see the lost as a wrench in his plans for the church. The lost ARE his plans for the church.
We EXIST to go out and reach them.
See, this is where the shepherd comparison falls short. Because sheep are still sheep - they’re this far off being like a desk, or a lamp, or a nice couch.
Jesus told another parable:

The Parable of the Lost Son

And in this one, it’s not some dumb sheep who idly wanders off. It’s a rebellious kid who disowns his father and actively SPRINTS headlong in the opposite direction.
With a sheep, you can at least say, ‘oh he didn’t know any better. He’s just a dumb sheep’. This wasn’t that.
This was a father, whose son basically spat in his face and abandoned him.
But how did the father feel about him? (THE SON REALIZED HIS ERROR AND RETURNED)
Luke 15:20 NIV
So 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.
Being honest with ourselves - I don’t know if I could do that. If someone spat in my face, hated me, disowned me. I understand forgiveness, but love and compassion to the point of that? That’s big.

We don’t understand God if we think he feels any less than that

about everybody. Not just us - the lost. the people on the outside. Our enemies. People who are different politics, perspectives.
And in this story, Jesus reminds us that every person who is lost, every single one who doesn’t know him or has walked away from him - they’re ALL his children. They all matter.
I want to end this message off with a question.

Who is your ‘one’?

Luke 15:7 NIV
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.
If you’ve ever been in a situation to see a dear family member, maybe a spouse or a child, come to know Christ - you know what it means to celebrate.
Who is your ‘one’? Who is that person that would just blow your mind and fill your heart if they came to know Jesus?
We exist as parkland church for the ones. For those people out there who need Jesus. And we want to take time to pray about that.
We are coming up on Easter. and as much as easter is a celebration for us, a recognition of the central event of human history - it’s also a reminder of why we’re here. Why JESUS was here - to reach the lost. So continue to pray about your ones as we get closer to easter.
Related Media
Related Sermons