Wednesday, January 11, 2012

You Can't Reach The Lost If You Hide From Them

Do you rejoice when the lost are found?

Luke 15:1-10 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” 

Eating with sinners! How could Jesus do that again? The Pharisees fussed at him before when he was having dinner with the "scum" right after he asked one of those "scum" to be his disciple. (Luke 5:30-32) After that incident Jesus still had the nerve to feed over 5,000 people, and you can imagine that there must have been some lowlife people there that day. (Luke 9:10-17)

Jesus always makes things simple and to all of this criticism Jesus explains a very simple concept: "To reach sinners you can't avoid them." How could anybody find anything that is lost if they avoid the places where the lost thing could be? Easy enough?

We have all been lost sheep

1 Peter 2:25 Once you were like sheep who wandered away. But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
The Pharisees didn't realize that at the foot of the cross we are all equal, we are all lost sheep and we are all worth looking for. Jesus knew that none of us is worthy but by his grace he has enabled us to be friends of God. (Romans 5:11)

These two parables about things that are lost are telling me that:

  1. I have to get out there away from the safety of the flock, go find a lost sheep and bring him back to the Savior. 
  2. I need to turn on the lights and pierce the darkness so that the lost can be found.
Thank you Lord for saving me and calling me your friend. Help me to feel a stronger urgency to find the lost.