Luke 15:1-32… “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them” (vv. 1-2, KJV).
The three parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son contain more truth about redemption than anything else that is written. They teach how people are lost and that God searches for them. In our text, the Pharisees and the scribes complained that Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them. These leaders actually believed that the way to correct sinners was to boycott them. Jesus believed the opposite. These Pharisees thought that their religion was being threatened, and tried to save it by discrediting Jesus. But, Jesus turned their evil into an eye-opening revelation. That’s God’s love in action. Jesus turned an interruption into an interpretation. He overcame evil with good and turned criticism into instruction.
The lost sheep was lost through inattention… i.e., the lamb was not paying attention. The lamb moved from one tuft of grass to another without paying attention, and each step took it farther away from the shepherd. It was lost through careless neglect. The descent into hell is so gradual that many do not realize that the lifestyle they have chosen is leading them into “lostness.” God fades out of people’s lives through inattention. It may not be deliberate intention, but they are lost just the same.
The lost coin was not lost by its own choice… it was lost because someone else was neglectful. Often children are lost because of neglect by the parents. When the security of the home is broken up, the children who are feeling insecure go delinquent. When the older generation lives without God, children think that the parents aren’t fit to bring them up, so they are lost. The neglect by the parents caused their child to be lost.
The lost son was lost by a deliberate choice that he had made… He decided to leave his father. He decided that doing his father’s will was bondage and that his own will was freedom. Many young men and women feel that God’s way is bondage. Hell sure does know how to twist the mind. Note Genesis 3:4-5: “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (KJV). Go ahead, do what you want… leave your paradise, hide from God, and tie yourself up in knots. You are free to make your own decision and make your own problems. God’s will is our freedom; our will against the will of God is bondage. If you do not know that lesson you really do not know how to live. Listen, all of you… If you get away from God, you are lost, whether you were careless all by yourself, someone else was careless, or you made your own choices. God is searching for you. He will go after you like a shepherd, He will sweep the house till he finds you, and He will watch daily for your return. It’s no wonder the gospel message is called the “good news.”
Pastor George Belobaba
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