“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” — Luke 15:4 (ESV)
The Parables of the Lost Sheep and Coin
If the core of Jesus’ teachings on the Gospel could be summed up in two stories, they would be the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Both stories illustrate one crucially important truth: God pursues us. Both clearly display God’s heart for us in that He willingly and passionately comes down to meet and help us wherever we are. As we look at these important parables today, open your heart and allow the reality of God’s pursuit of you to transform the way you relate to Him and stir up your desires to seek His face in return.
Jesus says in Luke 15:4-7 (ESV):
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Then Jesus teaches in verses 8-10 (ESV):
“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? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus tells two parables to re-emphasize a perspective-shattering truth. The one, true God, the King of kings and Lord of lords, so values us that He leaves everything behind to pursue relationship with us. So great is God’s desire for restored relationship with you that He came down off His throne, left transcendent perfection and lived His earthly life in total service to us, thereby leading Him to an unjustified and sacrificial death.
Has the reality of that truth been fully realized in your heart? Has both the grandeur and love of our God hit home to the point that the depth of God’s love is your chief reality? Too often we pass by the core message of the Gospel because we have heard it before, and we don’t allow it to stretch past our mind into our heart. It’s when truth rests in our heart, impacts our emotions and becomes real to us that it transforms our lives. You were the helpless and lost sheep. You were the coin that was so valuable God worked and searched until He had it back in His possession. You are of the highest value to the only One who truly decides the essence of worth. Don’t let that truth pass you by today. Instead, grab hold of it, reflect on it and wrestle with it until it becomes the foundation for every decision, thought and action in your life.
Let’s respond to the depth of God’s pursuit with our own. Let’s allow God to bring every part of our lives entirely into His possession. Let’s be the reward of Jesus’ sacrifice. In Psalm 27:8 (ESV) David says, “You have said, ‘Seek My face.’ My heart says to You, ‘Your face, Lord, do I seek.’” God is calling out to you, saying, “Seek My face.” He waits patiently for your reply, excited at the notion that you would live your life receiving the abundance made available to you by Jesus’ sacrifice.
Spend time in prayer meditating on God’s pursuit of you and responding to Him by seeking His face.
— Craig Denison, First 15
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