The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin!!!
Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them. So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which 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 neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”…… Luke 15:1-10
In our last study, we considered in Detail the Conditions we must fulfill if we want to follow Jesus and become His Disciples. We noted that it is not enough to be Born again by laying the Foundation for our Christian life. We must press on towards perfection and that can only be achieved through Discipleship. This is the Great Omission in the Great Commission. Jesus said, “Go into the world and Make Disciples of all nations(Matt 28:19)”. Those that have responded to the Gospel Message when we preach to them must immediately be led into Discipleship. This is how they will become salt that has not lost its taste. This is how they can become Light that we shine in the World. This is the major problem with today’s Christianity. If only Discipleship was incorporated into the programs of the Church, then the Church would have become purer and more powerful than it is now. Today, we shall consider Two similar Parables that Jesus spoke to tell us the Joy in Heaven over one person who repents.
Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. : After Jesus finished stating the Conditions for Discipleship, He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!(Luke 14:35)”. But the Religious leaders and Pharisees did not have a ear to hear then. Even today, so many Christian Leaders and their followers don’t have ears to hear the Conditions of Discipleship. But Glory to God the tax collectors and Sinners drew near to listen. It is always those who are despised, those who are last that ends up as first in God’s Kingdom. It is the simple people that responded to the Lord to become Disciples and it is like that even today. Noticed, it was said that they drew near to Him to hear and Listen to Him. This should always be our attitude when we come to the Lord. We must always draw nearer to Him to hear Him speak to our Heart. There are many who come to the Lord only to speak and make requests and never take time to Listen. Some are like Martha who kept serving and serving, running up and down organising programs and doing something in the name of serving the Lord but never took time to sit and listen like Mary did. Yet Jesus said, ” But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.(Luke 10:42)”.And you may ask, which part did Mary chose? She sat down at the Lord’s feet and Listen to His Words(Luke 10:39). Let us therefore draw nearer to the Lord that we may hear what He wants us to do.
And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”: This was the only thing they could find fault with in Jesus. Their understanding of holiness was, “You can be corrupt in your thought and private life as long as you don’t mingle with worldly people.”. There are many people whose understanding of Christianity is also the same today. They say, “Don’t mingle with Worldly people but it doesn’t matter if your secret life is corrupt”. But Jesus showed us that Holiness is an inward thing. He said, “The Kingdom of God is within You(Luke 17:21)”. Which means, Your inner thought must be pure, your attitude must be good. Who you mingle with does not corrupt you. In fact, we have to mingle with Sinners to save them. So Jesus mingled with Sinners to save them.
However, if you mingle with Sinners and you discover that they corrupt You more and draw you into Sin, it is better to stay away from them. It shows you don’t have the strength yet to influence them. But if we are to follow Jesus wholeheartedly, we are to draw others and we are to be witnesses in the midst of Sinners. Let us therefore ask for the fullness of the he Holy spirit and wisdom that we may be able to draw sinners to the Lord as we mingle with them.
So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which 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 neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. : So when Jesus noticed that they were complaining and grumbling about His association with Sinners, He told them this Parable. In this parable He was saying the reason why He goes after Sinners. He was like, “I go after those that are lost and seek to bring them into the fold. The Lord is always seeking for Sinners who have not repented. There are lots of people sitting in the Church who have not repented. The Lord is seeking them too.
Notice, The Lord divides the World into two categories of people. Firstly, Those who needs no Repentance. In other words, they are already repenting in their lives in whenever they discover Sin, they repent immediately and turn away. These are people living a life of Continuous Repentance Everyday. Those are the only people about whom it can be said that that, “They need no Repentance”. What a wonderful fold!!! Imagine a Church where 99% needs no Repentance. This is the kind of Church we should all long to build. If the fold consists of people that are not repenting, Honestly I will say the Lost sheep is safer outside. What is the use bringing a lost soul into the midst of Corrupt gathering of Sinners? This is the terrible conditions of many churches. They go out to convert one person only to bring them into a Church where there is confusion, jealousy, strive, self seeking and gossip. And they end up leaving such soul in a more terrible condition than He was before joining the Church. So we must long to build a Church where people are taught the necessity of living a Life where there is no need of Repentance.
All the others are in the Other Categories. They May be sheep, they may not be goat. They may not be children of the Devil, they may be Children of God. Jesus used sheep always as the Picture of the children of God. But here, we read of a Sheep which belongs to the Lord, a Born again Child of God who has gone astray. How did He go astray? It is because He did not live a life of Continuous Repentance. This is the meaning of being a lost Sheep. It is going astray from the fold because You stop repenting. Maybe you repented when you first came to the Lord, and that’s how you became one of the sheep but as time goes on, you thought you don’t need any more Repentance and you went astray. The Day you think there is nothing to repent of again in your life, then it means you are assuming you are already perfect like Jesus!!! As we get closer and closer to the Lord, we will always, I repeat, “Always” discover the Sins that is deeply rooted in our flesh. And the more we discover it, the more we become Humble and Merciful to others. We must always judge ourselves. 1 John 3:3 says, ” we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” we must keep purifying ourselves until we see Him. We must always cleanse ourselves as we discover new areas of Sin in our lives as we walk closer with the Lord Everyday. If we have this habit of judging, cleansing and purifying ourselves, then we will belong to that category of people who need no Repentance. All the others are Lost!!! Some are goats who needs to be converted to become sheep, many are sheep but are lost.
And when the Lord finds one person like that, He rejoice!!! There is tremendous Joy in the Lord’s heart when one person who is lost is found. When a person who is not repenting starts repenting. The Lord is seeking such people to lay them on His shoulders but we can resist Him by not allowing Him to lay hold of us on His shoulders and take us back home because of our pride or our love of Sin.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost! Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.: We can say the Woman is a Picture of the Church. Who has ten silver Coins but She lost one. Notice one big Difference between the Lost sheep and the Lost Coin. In the case of the Sheep, it was the sheep that went astray on it own accord. But in the case of this coin, it was the woman that lost it. The Coin does not even know that it is in a lost condition. So what am I trying to say, “It is very Possible that a Careless Church losses it members to the Devil. It is very possible that someone in the Church is lost and gone out to the world and Yet thinks He is Saved.
So what is the Church suppose to do? Exactly what this woman did. She Lights the Lamp!!! This is the Picture of God’s word. This is showing forth the life of Jesus in the Church. For, “In Jesus was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.(John 1:4-5)”. It is as the Life of Jesus begins to shine forth in the Church that those who are lost within the Church can be found. It is as people are being taught the necessity and importance of Discipleship and following Jesus life as an Example that they will discover how lost they are in sin. A Church that fails to Proclaim the whole purpose of God will discover that majority of those who gather at their meetings are lost and they knew it not. Another thing this woman did was that She swept the Floor. She cleans up and puts away all hypocrisy and unbiblical setup in the Church until she finds it. There are lots of unscriptural practices in Today’s churches that has led to the lost of focus for members. Churches are now run on Profit making principles and people are asked to give to God with the Hope of getting a greater money in return. You hear them say, “if you give God, #1,000, He will give you back, #100,000”. They call it sowing by faith, I call it, “Using God to advance Your own interest”. It is all business motivation!!! I never see Jesus or the Apostles doing this!!! All these practices needs to be swept out of the Church if we want to find the lost members within the Church!!! The Word of God needs to be proclaimed and the Life of Jesus needs to be step up as the standard.
Oh what a Great Joy in Heaven the day a Sinner realizes how Lost He is and Repents. I have seen a lot of people repenting and Yet feeling sorry for themselves. I say to them, “No Brother!!! Rejoice!!! There is Joy in Heaven that You have been found!!!. God is happy that He has found what was Lost!!!! At times we think so much of ourselves that we forget that it was God that lost something when we are lost. Permit me to ask You, “when the Sheep was lost, who was worried? The Sheep or a The Owner? Definitely the Owner!!! When the Coin was lost, who was worried? The Coin or the Woman? Definitely the Woman!!! Honestly, if one person is lost, God is worried and Longing to get Him back!!!! And if You are in touch with God, you will have the same Longing and worries to draw back those who have gone out of the flock and those who are lost within the Church. Let us therefore Rejoice when we repent for there is Joy in Heaven because we have repented.
Dear Friend, where do you stand? Are you living a life of Continuous Repentance? Or you have nothing to repent of anymore? Are you still among the group that are cleansing themselves Daily of anything Called Sin or you have wandered away from the group? God is seeking for you, don’t hide from Him. Let Him lay hold of you and carry you on His Shoulder back to the flock. Don’t be Foolish like Adam and Eve who hid themselves among trees when God said to Him, “where are You?”. If you hear His voice today, Please Repent and Returned to the Fold. Could it be that You are Lost within the Church? Could it be that you are in a church full of Darkness and dust? Could it be that you are singing and drumming Yet lost but you knew it not? May the Lord light up the Lights for you to see where you really stand. May the Lord raise up people who will sweep away the dust until you are found in your lost position. May Heaven have no reject but Rejoice with shouts of Joy over our lives in Jesus name (Amen). God bless you. Have a blessed day.
#Everyday with Jesus.