Lost And Found
Luke 15 has been called God’s
Lost and Found Department. In these 32 verses, Jesus uses
no less that 4 illustrations dealing with the lost and with God’s
desire to see them saved and restored to fellowship with Himself. Verses
3-7 record the Illustration
of the Lost Sheep. Verses
8-10 record the Illustration
of the Lost Silver. Verses
11-24 give us the Illustration
of the Lost Son. And, Verses
25-32 relate the Illustration
of the Lost Sibling.
backdrop for these “heavenly
stories with earthly meanings” is found in
verses 1-2. In these verses, Jesus is seen reaching out to
the lost and dying. We are told that “publicans
and sinners” came to hear Him preach. Publicans were
also known as “tax collectors”.
These people worked for the Roman government and were despised by
the Jews because they were friendly with the enemy and they placed
on the people harsh and unfair tax burdens. Sinners, on the other
hand, referred to the Jews who did not keep the Mosaic Law, and were
looked down on by the Pharisees and other religious peoples.
was these poor people who no one cared about that Jesus reached out
to! In fact, He stated that as His very reason for coming into the
world, Luke 19:10; Mark 2:17.
Yet, when these people gathered themselves around Jesus, to hear Him
teach, the religious establishment went crazy and began to criticize
Jesus for “receiving”
sinners. The word “receiveth”
means “to allow access to
oneself”. The very people the religious world should
have been reaching out to, were the very ones they shunned. Jesus,
on the other hand, came to the world for lost, hurting, sinful people,
and He reached out the them.
knowing the hard hearts of these religious people, told them the parable
that makes up the verses of this chapter. In this parable, Jesus uses
four illustrations to teach them the value of every lost soul. He even
uses this parable to teach them that they themselves might not be as
secure as t hey thought they were.
would like to take the next few Sunday mornings and look into this chapter
in detail. I want us to enter God’s
Lost and Found Department together and learn the truth that
every soul matters to God, even yours!
Lost And Found #1
One day a shepherd counts his sheep. He expects to find 100 in his flock,
but is dismayed to discover that one of the flock is missing. Motivated
by the danger to the sheep and the loss to himself, the shepherd takes
immediate action to restore this sheep to its proper place in the fold.
this vivid account of searching, saving and shouting, we can see a clear
picture of the love, longing and labor of the Lord Jesus for the lost.
There is a picture of salvation in these verses that we do not want
to miss today. If you are here lost today, you are going to hear how
what Jesus has done for you and how you can be saved today. If you are
saved, you will be reminded of His love and His grace and you will be
given an opportunity to thank Him today. If you are saved, but aren’t
as close to the Shepherd as you need to be, you will be given an opportunity
to set that right today as well. Let’s examine these verses together
today as we think about The Lost
A Lost Sheep - The word “lost”
is the same word that is translated “perish”
in John 3:16. It means “to
be lost, ruined, or destroyed” it is used to refer
to being sent away into Hell! In other words, this little sheep is in
great danger! It is headed for ruin. It is headed for destruction. The
shepherd knows this and is concerned about the condition of the sheep!
He is moved to do something to save this lost sheep. By the way, this
sheep is lost because it wandered away! It is lost by its own fault!
Friend, God knows the lost condition of humanity, Isa.
53:6, 1 Pet. 2:25, John 3:18,
36. He knows the lost condition of your heart as well. He knows
that you are lost because of the sin of Adam, but He also knows that
you are a sinner because you choose to be one! He knows where you are
living and where you are headed if you do not get saved. He knows that
Hell is the end of the road for every soul that is not in a personal,
saving relationship with Jesus Christ,
Psa. 9:17; 2 Thes. 1:8-9; Rom. 6:23a. Not only does He know the
condition of the lost, He is moved to do something about their lost
A Loved Sheep - This sheep may have wandered away from
the shepherd, but it was still precious to Him. There was value in that
sheep and the shepherd wanted it returned to his flock. He cared about
that one little lost sheep. (Note:
The Good Shepherd loves the lost sheep in this world also! Friend, if
you are lost today, I want you to know that God loves you! How do I
know? First, He said it,
Jer. 31:3; John 3:16. Second,
He showed it, Rom.
5:6-8! If you ever doubt the love of God for you, then look no
farther than Calvary!)
A Lone Sheep - Just one sheep was missing, yet the shepherd
still went. Another shepherd might have counted the personal cost and
decided to let that one sheep go and be lost forever. But, this shepherd
saw the value in just one sheep and he went after it. (Note:
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came to this world to die for the lost sheep
- Luke 19:10. I am convinced
that Jesus Christ came into this world to die because He deemed every
lost soul precious - Ill. Luke 15:7;
John 10:3; Rom. 10:13; Rev. 22:17. Friend, He died for you!)
V. 5 THE
Was A Sacrificial Commitment - For the shepherd, the search
was dangerous and death was a possibility. (Note:
For the Lord Jesus, death was an absolute certainty - John
10:11; John 15:13; Rev. 13:8; 1 Pet. 1:18-20; John 18:37. Remember
the price Jesus paid extended far beyond Calvary - Phil.
Was A Successful Commitment - The shepherd did not stop
until his mission had been completed and the sheep had been found! Jesus
did not stop on His quest until He was able to cry, “It
is finished”, John
19:30! (Ill. Isa. 50:7)
(Ill. Mark 10:45) His labor had
not been wasted, but He returned to the fold with the very thing He
went after! (Ill. It may appear to us that God’s cause is failing
in this world, but Jesus will not be disappointed by the harvest He
reaps from this world! When we arrive home in glory, we will learn that
the Good Shepherd perfectly fulfilled His mission, and all those He
saved by His blood will be home in Heaven! - John
17:24; John 6:37-40 - Notice the usage of the words “all”
and “every one”.)
V. 6-7 THE
Involves Rescue - The sheep has been found and is rescued
from the danger in which it had been! (Ill. The word “saved”
means “to rescue from all harm
and danger”. That is what the Great Shepherd does for
all His sheep! His delivers them from the danger and the damage of their
sins! All of God’s sheep are delivered from the Penalty,
John 3:18, 36; the Power,
Rom. 6:11-14 and ultimately from
the very the Presence of
their sins, Rev. 21:27.)
Involves Rest - The sheep is not responsible for getting
itself home. It may have wandered away, but the getting home is the
responsibility of the shepherd! After it is saved, it
finds itself resting upon the strong shoulders of the shepherd!
(Ill. Thank God, the Lord’s sheep are not responsible for getting
themselves home either, but they are “kept
by the power of God”, 1
Pet. 1:5, and they rest upon His precious promises for their
salvation, John 10:28; John 6:37-40;
John 6:47; Heb. 9:12. The Lord’s sheep are saved by grace
and it is grace that sees them home, Eph.
2:8-9, Rom. 11:6. None of the Lord’s sheep need ever fear
being left behind!)
shepherd was able to lift the sheep and bear it upon his shoulders all
the way back to the fold. He had sufficient stamina to finish what he
had started. (Ill. The Lord did not start this mission to fail. He went
after the sheep for the express purpose of bringing them home! Notice
His confidence - Luke 19:10,
“to seek and to save”;
John 6:37, “him
that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”; Heb.
13:5, “I will never
leave thee, nor forsake thee”; John
3:16; John 5:24; John 6:47; John 10:28. Don’t worry about
ever being lost again, just be sure you get in! Our strength will wain
along the way and we will fail many times, but His strength never wavers!
Our arrival in Heaven has never and will never depend upon you and me,
but upon Him!)
Involves Rejoicing - This shepherd was able to rejoice
with his friends and neighbors because his lost sheep was found. He
was overjoyed with the rescue of this one, lost sheep. (Note:
Jesus makes it clear that Heaven gets excited about the salvation of
just ONE lost soul! Why?
Because fellowship has been restored,
Eph. 2:12-17; Job 9:33. Because usefulness has been restored.
God can’t use a dirty vessel, but He can save a sinner by His
grace and use them in amazing ways for His glory!
Friend, where are you in your relationship to the Shepherd? Are you
lost out on the dark mountains of sin? Do you need to be rescued today?
If so, then you can be saved if you will come to Jesus! Others are saved,
but are you as close to Him as you need to be today? If there is a need
in your walk with Jesus, you come and talk to Him about it. Others are
saved, sure, and secure on the Shepherd’s shoulders today, why
don’t you just come before Him to worship Him, thank Him and to
pray for the lost in our midst today? Still other know and are concerned
over lost folks today. Notice that this shepherd left the 99 and went
after the lost one. If there was ever a day when the church needed to
get her eyes off the 99 and on the lost one it is now! If there is a
need, then you come before the Lord and get the help you need right