SUBJ: The particular manner in
which the Lord deals with particular persons in bringing them without
fail to Himself.
AIM: That we might reflect in more
simple terms on Who saves and who is saved.
INTR: The parables of our Lord
bring simple messages that show that salvation occurs in the simple
terms of sovereign grace and not in the failed ways of men and their
1. Men love to solve puzzles and this becomes a problem
where there is no puzzle to solve. The parable is here stated and then
explained very simply. (Three parables that depict stupidity,
unconsciousness, and knowing and willing estrangement – MH quoting
2. The message here is twofold – it is a rebuke to the
self-righteous critics of the conscious sinner and a word of
encouragement to those who see themselves in absolute need.
3. We are
reminded here that we were/are sought and found by Him who alone is able
THESIS: In every
depiction of salvation we are reminded that salvation is of the Lord and
men make no contribution at any point along the way. In the grand
overview of grace it will have been seen in all that we have done and
all that we are that it is Christ Who has done it.
I. Those who
came (v. 1)
1. It was a mixed crowd and they were there for different
reasons and this is seen as the narrative unfolds.
2. Consider the
way in which God prevents presumption and yet brings the clarity of
Gospel to bear. 25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even
so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are
delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the
Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to
whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour
and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find
rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
3. But those who drew near were all the publicans
1) Attracted to Christ and His message of salvation
2) Sensitive of their need in spite of the labels given them by the self
3) No effort to disguise themselves – they came as they
were – “Just as I am…”
4. Where is the attraction today?
Consider the devices of men that are employed to attract men
consider here that it was Christ to whom they were attracted
it be that Christ is not as visible in us as we would like to think?
5. Consider again: Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the
offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more
II. Those who objected (v. 2)
1. We are constrained to
ask why they followed since they rejected His message and His claim.
1) Perhaps they were seeking confirmation or confrontation concerning
their claim to assurance of their place in the Kingdom.
2) While they
hated the idea of the publicans and sinners who had a humble fear of
being rejected by Christ.
2. Their religion was rooted in personal
pride and they recoiled at the idea of being in the same class as the
1) They had the claim of orthodoxy but did not know it was
dead and for that matter was never an end in itself.
confidence was in an outward display of righteousness
3. The correct
charge – “this man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
The parable (vv. 4-6)
1. The argument is directed to themselves – He
began with “What man of you…” thus making them to reason within
2. Often the subject of an artist’s conception and a
subject for Bible Storybooks that appeal to human interests, but:
The precious aspects of this parable emphasize grace in salvation
One sheep (Dangers depicted in Scripture – David’s rescue, wolves, etc.)
ii. Gone after (no indication of doubt or difficulty in finding – the
message is of value and love.)
iii. Objective to be met – “…until He
2) And grace applied when found
i. It was laid on His
shoulders – not invited, led, driven or given choice – it was rather
ii. There was immediate rejoicing at both the work and the
iii. Taken Home
3) The rejoicing with friends and
neighbors evidenced a great love and care for that individual sheep.
IV. Its interpretation (v. 7)
1. One sinner repenting as a cause
of rejoicing in Heaven and in the presence of the Angels. Consider the
interest of all of Heaven in redemption.
2. What of the ninety and
nine? (No explanation needed beyond what is stated)
1) Perhaps it was
they who were already in a state of grace.
2) It is more likely that
the Lord left them with their invalid claim to the Kingdom.
were at best posing as righteous and He allowed them to exercise their
3. Compare the idea that: Luke 5:31 And Jesus answering
said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that
are sick. We note the obvious implications and we rejoice that the care
of the shepherd was/is directed toward us in that we are found of Him
Who graciously sought us.