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Sheep, Silver, & Sons

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Sheep, Silver, & Sons

Luke 15

Preaching from the 15th chapter of Luke, we will not be reading any key verse because it is the entire chapter that we are concerned with.  Don’t get nervous – we just want to get the big picture of God’s attitude toward sinners.

– This chapter begins with Jesus standing in the middle of a large group of no-account publicans and sinners. .  People from all classes of life have thronged to hear him. To one side are the scribes; on the other are the Pharisees – both groups full of men mumbling to one another about the shame of it all.  These two self-righteous groups (the scribes & Pharisees) were always looking for a way to discredit Jesus; to dismiss and reject Him.  They see this as a sign that Jesus cannot be God, for in their mind God would never welcome sinners and even eat with them.  But He was, and He still does!  With three parables, we find out exactly how God feels!

One lost sheep – the shepherd leaves 99 to find 1; then carries it back and shares the news rejoicing.

One lost coin – the house is diligently searched until it is found, then the neighbors are called to rejoice.

One son leaves home and spends all his inheritance; wanders in a far land until he finally comes to himself and returns to find his father anticipating his return.  The entire household rejoices except for the other son, who has become jealous of the attention of his brother.

In this chapter we find every scenario possible in which a person could be separated from God, but no circumstance or problem is big enough to keep them away from God. 

The sheep strayed away out of ignorance, the silver coin was lost out of carelessness, but the son was lost out of sheer rebellion.  It doesn’t matter to God!

I am speaking to all those who would look down on the rights of the undeserving ones to reach out to God, to those who have somehow wandered off, to those that have gotten their priorities misplaced, or outright rebelled against God.

From this chapter the following observations are made.

1.     You can wander out of the fold, but you still are part of the flock.

2.     You can be in the house, and still be lost.

3.     You can run as far away as you want, but the door is still open and the light is still on.

1.  Sheep are pretty simple.  When you look into their makeup, at times it is almost an insult that the Lord would compare us to them.  One thing is certain – they need a shepherd. 

          Ps. 23 – the Lord is my shepherd

          Ps. 100 – we are his sheep

          Ez. 34:12 – seek out my sheep, and deliver them.

John 10:10,11 – the thief cometh not but to steal, kill, and destroy; but I have come that they might have life, and that more abundantly.  I am the good Shepherd that giveth his life for the sheep.

You have heard the saying, “One bird in hand is worth two in the bush”.  It is almost as if God says that one soul in the world is worth 99 in the church.

When the sheep was found it was not punished or scolded.  It was not lead back, it was carried.

People do wander off; - but God still cares

2.  It is possible to be in the vicinity of spirituality, and not have a bit of it!  The coin was in the house all along, it just wasn’t available for use.  The silver coin that was lost was only worth about 18 cents.  It wasn’t the monetary value, but that it represented something special in her life that had been handed down through the generations.

Carelessness had caused it to slip from its place.  Although it was lost to use, it still had the image of the emperor on it.  That is another reason it had value in that economy.  It is possible to become so sin-stained that the value isn’t discernible, but God knows how to clean a soul!

*Boys with coin collection – clean up the pennies to see the date. Reveal image that was there all along.

Many times a soul – through misuse and abuse has lost the image of the creator.  But God has a way of cleansing until the image that he stamped on comes back into view.

         

Let’s talk about the son that didn’t leave first.  He was born to privilege and fellowship but had never experienced what was available to Him.  He had allowed the corrupting influences of his fleshly nature to change the value of his heart from that of a son to that of hired help!  What is our attitude towards about those around us that don’t have their act together yet?

3.  No excuse here!  The others were lost for excusable reasons, but he made a deliberate choice.  Maybe this is why God took so much time to explain this story.  It is a true picture of the heart of God.

Has He found you this morning?  Is He waiting for you to come home?

Rev. 3:20 – the lock is on the inside – no twisting or persuading

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