Intro: In our passage today, the Pharisees and teachers of the law condemn Jesus for spending time and eating with sinners. The Jews understood two classes of humans: clean and unclean. However, Jesus uses a parable to teach these religious leaders the two classes of humans are actually the lost and the found. The heart of Jesus is to reclaim the lost—those whom the religious leaders regard as unclean.
So, who are the lost? Sinners who have wandered away from God and are unable to find their way back to Him. Never forget because of sin we are born lost; we need a Shepherd to save us. So Jesus came to find His lost sheep and bring each person safely into His presence. Through faith the lost can be forgiven and enjoy new life in Christ. We may try religion in order to find our way back to God, but it is only through a relationship with Christ that we actually make a divine connection.
Luke 15:1-7 (NLT) Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 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!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for finding me so many years ago. May the people in your world wake up to understand without you they are lost and in need of the Good Shepherd. In Jesus’ name. Amen.