(An incomplete study)
“Lost and Found”
Lost Sheep: 1-7
Lost Coin: 8-10
Prodigal Son: 11-32
Rejoicing – there is rejoicing EVERY time one repents. In the rejoicing, there is a call to gather together to celebrate.
Love – the love causes the shepherd to “go after” the lost sheep; it causes the woman to “search diligently” for the lost coin; it causes the Father to embrace and accept the prodigal son.
v. 5 – The shepherd places the lost sheep on his shoulders. The idea of having the "weight of the world" on Christ's shoulders comes to mind. He will take our burdens and place them on his shoulders. When we allow him to help us, we can place our burdens on Him (Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Peter 5:7) He rejoices in helping others find rest.
I often find myself repenting of allowing my mind to get too busy trying to figure things out on my own. The "weight of the world" grows heavy upon my shoulders. Jesus wants me to trust in Him so bad that he diligently goes after me until I repent and find rest in Him. I sometimes forget that He has promised to take me and lead me by his right hand (Isaiah 41:13).
v. 8 – The woman seeks diligently until she finds the coin. She does not give up. She keeps the faith. Like Paul says, we need to “fight the good fight of faith” and keep going, even though we don’t understand. Know the truth, know what you’re looking for. Do not settle for a Counterfeit Christianity.
One day while we were visiting family in California, the neighbor was having a key made for his car because they lost the keys to it. It seemed much easier for him to call the locksmith and have them make another key instead of searching for the keys they knew were inside the house somewhere. He said, “they’ll show up eventually”. So, instead of taking on the tireless trouble of searching for the original set of keys, they settled for the simplicity of having a copy of them made. We need to be careful to not do this in our search for truth. We need to be real with ourselves. We need to search diligently for wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 2:1-9). We need to accept the real truth even though we may not like it; even though it may not be convenient for us. To settle for a copy of the real truth is a simple expression of Counterfeit Christianity. A Christianity that accepts a false truth. A Christianity that lives with "half truths". Counterfeit is not original, it's a copy. It is Satan's strength to deceive us into believing a lie. When one is lost, it means they are not living in the truth. Sometimes we can do this knowingly; it is the curious soul the leads us astray and creates an unrepentant heart when we do not want to accept the truth. Jesus said of the end times, “the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). There is a restful blessing that calms the heart when we decide to accept the Truth of God’s Word and repent of not living right. There is a call to gather and rejoice (Luke 15:7,10,22-24) in heaven (v.7) in the presence of the angels (v.10).
God's love for us surpasses all we can understand. When we help others to find the truth (Matthew 28:18-20) and when they repent of believing a lie or not living correctly, a joyful gathering takes place in heaven.
The Lost is Found.