Sermon #109††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons

 

†††† Title: †††† ††† Lost and Found

†††† Text:††††† ††† Luke 15:1-32

†††† Subject: ††† The Parable of The Lost Sheep,

††††††††††††††††††††††† The Lost Coin, and the Lost Son

†††† Date:†††† ††† Sunday EveningóNovember 23, 2003

†††† Tape #†† ††† X-89a

†††† Readings:†† Bob Pruitt & Ron Wood

†††† Introduction:

 

Turn with me to Luke 15. This chapter and the message it contains needs no introduction. The chapter opens with publicans and sinners gathering around the Son of God to hear his words of mercy and grace, and with Pharisees and Scribes griping about it.

 

Verses 1, 2.††† ďThen drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. {2} And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.Ē

 

These two groups of men always brought out our Saviorís deepest emotions. Publicans and sinners evoked his tenderness, compassion, mercy, love and grace. Whenever and wherever we see publicans and sinners coming to him, we see the Friend of sinners joyously engaged in ministering to them.

 

Pharisees and scribes evoked open displays of utter contempt, anger, and wrath. Our Master simply could not stomach self-righteous, religious legalists. He never stayed in their company very long. They didnít like him; and he didnít like them. He scorned them, rebuked them, derided them, and condemned them at every opportunity. Then he departed from them.

 

3.ďAnd he spake this parable unto them.Ē

 

I suppose we should be grateful to the Pharisees for having led our Lord to utter the trilogy of parables we are about to read. Luke tells us plainly that these three parables, as we commonly speak of them, are really one parable. ― ďHe spake this parable unto them In this trilogy of parables, we see the whole work of grace, the whole work the Triune God in saving lost sinners.

       The lost sheep shows us the work of Christ, the Son of God, our Good Shepherd, in bringing his elect home to God.

       The lost coin shows us the work of God the Holy Spirit seeking and finding that which was lost.

       The prodigal son, the lost son, shows us the wondrous grace and goodness of God the Father in receiving sinners for Christís sake.

 

The Lost Sheep

 

3-7.†† ďAnd he spake this parable unto them, saying, {4} What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? {5} And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. {6} And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. {7} I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance."

 

What piercing words these must have been to the Pharisees and scribes, who thought they needed no repentance! ― How sweet they sound in the ears of poor publicans and sinners, who know both that they must have repentance and that they cannot produce it!

 

Here is a blessed description of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ in redemption.

 

       All Godís elect are sheep, chosen of God and given to Christ as the Good Shepherd, but ever straying from him ― lost in the wilderness of fallen humanity!

       Christ came into this world after his sheep.

       He seeks his sheep until he finds it.

       When he finds his sheep, he lays it upon his broad, omnipotent shoulders.

       He carries his sheep home.

       There is joy in heaven over every sinner ďthat repenteth.Ē ― Be sure you donít miss this: The repentance here is not something the sheep does, but something the Shepherd does for the sheep, in the sheep, and with the sheep. He turns the sheep homeward; and he carries the sheep home, all the way home!

 

The Lost Coin

 

8-10. "Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? {9} And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. {10} Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth."

 

Here we see another part of Godís great work of grace. This woman shows us the work of God the Holy Spirit in omnipotent mercy and effectual grace.

 

       Unlike the sheep, the coin is an inanimate thing, a thing altogether without life, feeling, or ability, but very precious to the one who has lost it. As such this lost coin shows a picture of Godís elect in this world, ďdead in trespasses and sinsĒ until God steps in to save (Eph. 2:1-5).

       When God the Holy Spirit comes in grace, he lights the candle of the gospel, causing ďthe light of the glorious gospel of ChristĒ to shine in our hearts (2 Cor. 4:4-6).

       When you sweep a house that has been in darkness for a long time, you stir up a lot of dust. When God the Holy Spirit performs his mighty operation of grace, he stirs our souls with the broom of conviction.

       There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over every repenting sinner. ― Again, the repentance here is not a work performed by the coin, but the work of God the Holy Spirit finding the coin.

 

The Lost Son

 

In verses 11-24 we see the very familiar story of the prodigal son. Usually, the emphasis is placed upon the sonís rebellion. But our Lordís purpose in this third part of his parable is to show us the marvelous lovingkindness, infinite mercy, and wondrous grace of God in receiving sinners for Christís sake. Here is another picture of Godís elect in their fallen, lost condition by nature. We are all by nature, straying sheep, as dead and lifeless as a coin, and utterly profligate rebels. Letís read verses 11-24.

 

11-24.†† "And he said, A certain man had two sons: {12} And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. {13} And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. {14} And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. {15} And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. {16} And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. {17} And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! {18} I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, {19} And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. {20} And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. {21} And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. {22} But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: {23} And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: {24} For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."

 

       Here is a needy sinner coming to the throne of grace.

       Here is God waiting to be gracious.

       Here is the blessed reception of grace. ― Kisses of Love! ― A Robe of Righteousness! ― Shoes of Stability! ― A Ring (Seal) of Sonship! ― A Slain Sacrifice! ― A Joyful Celebration!

 

The Elder Brother

 

But the parable does not end here. The lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son were all designed to give hope to those poor publicans and sinners who had come to the Savior. The rest of the parable seems specifically intended to condemn the Pharisees and scribes. They are depicted by the prodigalís elder brother in verses 25-32.

 

25-32.†† "Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. {26} And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. {27} And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. {28} And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. {29} And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: {30} But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. {31} And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. {32} It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."

 

       This elder brother is not in the house, but in the field.

       He refuses to come into the house.

       He is a slave wearing the name of a son.

       He is self-righteous.

       He despises the sacrifice, the robe, and the father.

       He is full of envy.

       He has all the ordinances of the fatherís house, but none of the blessedness.

 

Perhaps the most wondrous and most mysterious aspect of this great parable is way it closes. Only in eternity will we see the fulness of this closing verse manifest. In verse 32 we read ― ďIt was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.Ē Here God the Father speaks of himself, all the angels of heaven, and every saved sinner, represented in this prodigal, making merry and being glad because though we were dead he as given us life, and though we were lost he has found us!

 

(Zep 3:14-17)"Sing, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel; be glad and rejoice with all the heart, O daughter of Jerusalem. {15} The LORD hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy: the king of Israel, even the LORD, is in the midst of thee: thou shalt not see evil any more. {16} In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack. {17} The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

 

(Eph 2:1-7)"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: {2} Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: {3} Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. {4} But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, {5} Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) {6} And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: {7} That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus."

 

Did he promise

 

(Zep 3:18-20)"I will gather them that are sorrowful for the solemn assembly, who are of thee, to whom the reproach of it was a burden. {19} Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. {20} At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD."

 

So it shall be in that great day that is yet to come!

 

Amen.