Lost & Found
The Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost (19:10).
Everyone has had the dreaded experience of losing
something. Cell phones, keys, wallets, and money
are all prime examples. The existence of Lost
& Found departments in shopping malls tells me that
people losing things is a common experience. Things are
lost. Things are found. We’re mighty glad and relieved
when lost things are returned to us!
Why would you relentlessly search for a misplaced
$1,000, but not bother to go after a nickel you
misplaced? Lost things of significant value will cause us
to make a great effort to recover them. Jesus used this
truth to try and open the Pharisees’ hearts and eyes.
Offended by those whom Jesus spent time with, the
Pharisees and the religious teachers complained that “He
was associating with such sinful people—even eating
with them!” (Luke 15:2). Intended to be a scathing attack
on Jesus’ character, they had instead affirmed the very
work Jesus came to do: To save those who knew they
were lost sinners (Matthew 9:13; Luke 19:10).
In response to their self-righteous attitudes, Jesus told
them three different stories—a lost sheep (15:3-7), a lost
coin (vv.8-10), and a lost son (vv.11-24). The objects in
the tales increase in proportion and importance: Lost
sheep (1 of 100), lost coin (1 of 10), lost son (1 of 2).
Luke 15 is like the Lost & Found department of the
Bible. All three stories can be summarized by just four
words: lost, search, found, rejoice. All three stories paint for us an unmistakable
picture of who God is. He is the seeking shepherd, the searching woman, and
the waiting father.
And there’s a simple reason for His relentless searching (vv.4,8) and
subsequent rejoicing (vv.6,9,24): You are of great value to Him! (vv.7,10, 32).
Why were “tax collectors and other notorious sinners” attracted to
Jesus? Would “sinful people” be comfortable with you? Why?