preciousness of one of our Lord’s sheep to Him and the measures to which
He will go and has gone to deliver one safely home.
AIM: That we
might be reminded of the absolute concern and the effectual and
redeeming love of Christ Jesus our Lord.
address a text today that is the subject of songs and poems and strikes
a responsive chord in the hearts of all who have known the tender
deliverance and care of our faithful Shepherd.
1. The account of the
lost sheep is actually one aspect of a parable that includes three
parts: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son.
2. It is
perhaps well expressed by David Brown in seeing the lost soul in his
stupidity, as completely unconscious of his lost condition and a
knowingly and willfully estranged from God.
3. Like other narratives
recently addressed, this one is subject to neglect through familiarity.
THESIS: Our Lord would show to the
self-sufficient and self-righteous that there is no hope for them if He
does not intervene to deliver. He is thus and encouragement to the one
who is to be truly found of Him and He puts to silence the claims of any
I. The condition addressed (vv. 1-2)
1. The contrast in
the minds of the Pharisees and the contrast in the mind of Christ
They saw themselves as secure and above not only sinners but above
2) The distinction He makes is only understood by
those being so distinguished.
2. While it would seem that they came
to hear Him, it was not for salvation but because of the threat He posed
to their self- righteousness and legalism as they saw the “sinners” come
3. Another case of truth in the mouth of His detractors
The charge was, of course, true and we are reminded of Matthew,
Zacchaeus and others.
2) Such were some things said of Him at the
4. While Jesus did not condone the sins of those He received
it was obvious that there was an easy access granted to all who would
come to Him.
1) And so, we understand that His receiving sinners is
still occurring for which I am grateful!!
2) The key to understanding
this is the distinction to which they are awakened.
5. While we
declare the sovereignty of God in salvation and all things, none should
ever be discouraged from coming to Him seeking mercy and grace!
II. A successful quest (vv. 3-6)
1. Christ said elsewhere, For the
Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10,
as He was about the work of calling Zacchaeus.
2. As is often the
case with a parable He addresses a familiar scenario both biblically and
3. In approaching this and all parables we would be
careful not to complicate what is to be understood as a simple message –
this was the immediate cause of pharisaical blindness!
4. The success
of the quest requires that He find that lost sheep and that He
personally bring it home; the indication of full success is that He
rejoices over it; else death is certain!
1) It is fully of Him to
make the search and come to where the sheep is and we are then pointed
to the incarnation, the sinless life against all temptation and trial
and ultimately to cross the great gulf we know as the cross.
is no mention of possible failure –until He find it
ii. After all it
2) He does not, on discovering the lost sheep present it with
options as to a return such as making a decision or telling him the way
home in the hopes that he will choose rightly.
i. It is rather that
we find one having been led to the realization of a lost and impossible
situation whose situation is of impending death.
ii. While the
quickening work of the Spirit is not mentioned it is certainly implied.
3) The intended picture here incorporates the sovereign action of
salvation and the conscious experience of one being brought to Christ.
(We must be careful that we do not minimize the fact that each of us
have been so delivered).
5. He lays it on His shoulder, the rejoicing
begins and He carries it all the way home. (…underneath are the
everlasting arms… Deut. 33:7)
6. The rejoicing of all who have an
interest in the salvation of others is:
1) With Christ and the joy
set before Him…
2) It is He that has found – not “He got saved…” with
the implication of commonplace or human endeavor.
3) It is His sheep
that was lost – “I once was lost, but now I’m found…” and I am His!!!
III. A joyous explanation (v. 7)
1. What a precious revelation –
The repentance and subsequent conversion and faith of one sinner is a
cause for jubilation in Heaven – Angels and all concerned and certainly
all those who even now are made to sit together in Heavenly places in
Christ Jesus our Lord!!
2. It is to be remembered here that a
comparison is being made to the self-righteous perception of safety by
1) Pharisee-ism is the religion of the lost who sense
no need of a savior
2) No amount of human generated righteousness can
ever avail to bring any joy in Heaven
3) Sadly, there are many who,
like the Pharisees have no need of repentance and
4) We have the
assurance that all who see themselves as truly lost will be found!