[Luke 15 – The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, The Lost Son]
We are all at one time LOST and need to REPENT
We aren’t meant to do life alone
We realize that with our Pig Pod Moment and change of mind (see v. 16)
No matter the sin / sinner, all those who repent are forgiven / accepted / loved.
Once we are FOUND, what can we do as a child of God / disciple of Jesus:
- Go After – “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? (v. 4 NASB)
- To Go – poreuomai (por-yoo’-om-ahee) – travel, journey, go, moving something from one destination to another
- Seek Diligently – “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?” ( v. 8 ESV)
- Diligently – epimelós (ep-ee-mel-oce’) – carefully
- Embrace – “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (v. 20 NLT)
- Embraced – epipiptó (ep-ee-pip’-to) – to embrace with affection, fall upon, gripped
- Rejoice – vs. 5 “rejoicing” v. 6,9 “rejoice with me”, “celebrate” v. 23-24
- Rejoice – sugchairó (soong-khah’-ee-ro) – rejoicing in God’s grace, rejoice together
- Celebrate – euphrainó (yoo-frah’-ee-no) – merry outlook, joyous, feeling sense of victory
Bible Study Questions:
1) These three parables are told together and there is a shared theme – repentance. Jesus was with a particular group of people when he told these parables. Who was He speaking to and what started the “storytelling” moment?
2) What is the takeaway from Jesus’ transition from the grumbling “religious people” to the three parables? Why is it important to spend time with those in need of repentance?
3) The 99 sheep were left so that the owner could hunt down the one lost sheep. At first, this might sound foolish. Consider what would happen if these 99 sheep in the open country would wander off. The open country would have been a pasture – abandoned wilderness used for free range shepherding. Why did the owner leave them in the open country? What does this say about the one lost sheep?
4) When looking at the Lost Coin, it differs from the other items. It didn’t move far, whereas the sheep and the son could wander away. What type of person does this remind you of? How did the woman find this lost coin? What is the lamp that we use?
5) How do we know if someone is having a Pig Pod Moment of desperation? (see v. 16) What can we do to help the lost from where God has placed us?
More Than A Story is a 12-week Sermon Series and Bible Study focused on the parables of Jesus.
When you look at Luke 15, there are three parables Jesus told. The Parable of the Lost Sheep speaks of seeking out this one lost sheep. There were 99 sheep left in open country to hunt down this one lost sheep. In the Parable of the Lost Coin, there was one coin lost. The woman looked everywhere for the coin. She turned on the lamp. The Bible says she diligently looked for the coin. In the Prodigal Son story, we read of this father who looked for his son to return. He wanted so badly for his son to return and when he did so, the father rejoiced and threw a party.
The Bible says that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. Do you realize that God wants so much to do life with you? When He says if you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you, He means it. You need only reach your hands toward Him, and He is already reaching back. Think of it this way—when you take one step toward God, He runs toward you. He runs. Just like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. He runs.
Today remind yourself of this love and compassion. Remind yourself that God is right there. He is right there. Simply step forward. Simply call out His name. He has delivered you already my friend. Just reach out. Reach for Him. He is ready to draw you to Himself. He is ready to embrace you. He is ready to rejoice over you.
“[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.” – Colossians 1:13 [AMP]
We often keep our Father waiting. We don’t spend time with Him. We go through our entire day and don’t even speak to Him or even think of Him. Sometimes we walk away. And as the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, our Father waits. He’s always reaching out, always wanting us to just speak to Him—to have a relationship with Him.
In Psalm 90:12, Moses said, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (ESV). He understood time was our most valuable possession. As such, we must always be reviewing how we spend our time because that’s our priority in life. Is God your top priority—your number one priority?
Matthew 13:45-46 speaks of the pearl of great value. This pearl was found and because of the great value, the merchant sold ALL that he had just so he could buy it. But what do we do? Sometimes we do not consider our pearl of great value – Jesus, our prized possession. Instead we choose lesser pearls in life (possessions, power, pleasures).
You need to make room for God’s presence. In 2 Kings 4:8 we read about Elisha going to Shunem. A wealthy woman there fed Elisha when he passed through. She spoke with her husband about building a room for him—she wanted that man of God to come whenever he passed through and stay at her place. Do you have a place where you go to read your Bible or pray? A special place to push away the noise of the world and fix your eyes on Him? In Matthew 6:6, before Jesus tells the disciples how to pray, he tells them to “go into your room and shut the door” (ESV). Why? To shut out the worldly noise.
Routine – Not Routine
Routines are great. They help you to get a better night’s sleep. They help you to have less stress in life. But the issue is that sometimes routines are like traditions. The Bible doesn’t speak about too many traditions we are to keep. Most of the traditions we have are man-made traditions. I love traditions but sometimes we find our hearts not ii them because it’s simply routine. Like this man I met once. He sang the words, “Jesus loves me, the silo.” Yes, that’s not how the song goes, but he didn’t know that. He heard it wrong and continued to sing it wrong for over a decade. He didn’t know the truth—his life was built around tradition. Only when he was an adult did he learn what those words truly were and what the song truly meant.
In Luke 18, we read of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Pharisee was all about tradition. He was going to the Temple to pray. He was fasting twice a week. He was tithing from all that he got. Yes, he was going through the motions, but his heart was proud. He didn’t have his heart fixed on God. The Tax Collector, he stood before God as a humble man, emotionally beating his chest. He recognized his need for God. He truly was baring his heart before God. That’s what God wants. He wants honest, raw, truth. He wants you to open up and pour out your heart. And He wants your ears to listen when He responds.
There were two sons who were very different. The one son wanted the inheritance so the father split up the estate and the son ran off with the amount he was given. The other remained. Most people remember this story. Finally after the son spends all of his money, he realizes what he did. He returns to his father and repents. What was lost was now found.
What was the father doing while the son was away? Can you remember that part of the story? When the son was returning, he wasn’t even at home when his father saw that he was returning. He was “still a long way off.” Why? Because the father was watching and waiting for the lost son.
God watches and waits for us too. He does not want to lose any of us. He is filled with unfailing love and overflowing compassion. He wants to run to each of us. He wants to embrace you. We simply need to head home. No matter what you have done, no matter how far you have traveled, you always can return to him. He’s waiting. Come home.
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20 [NLT]