Lost and Found
Luke 15.

The theme of Luke's Gospel is the presentation of Christ as the Son of Man.
As a consequence, in this Gospel we hear him often in prayer, ministering to needy women,
loving little children, and lifting the fallen.

In Luke's Gospel Christ will often be seen with püblicans and sinners thronging Him.
As a result the Pharisees were indignant and had out bitter criticism of the Christ.
The Scribes and Pharisees united in a common accusation,
"This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." (Luke 15:2).
For once the Pharisee spoke the truth.
That criticism was and is gloriously and everlastingly true.

What did Christ say in rebuttal?
There was no heated denial nor did His face reddened in shame.
He accepts the accusation as being the truth.

Taking their criticism as His text He illustrates the truth of it with
these three parables which are so familiar to us all.
There are some clear contrasts in these parables.

In the first a sheep was lost.
In the second some silver was lost.
In the third a son was lost.
Some might say that there is a fourth parable in that another son was lost.

One son was lost away from home and the other lost at home.
In the first parable there was one out of one hundred lost.
In the second there was one out of ten lost.
In the third one out of two was lost.
In the sheep we have an animal lost.
In the silver we have metal lost.
In the son we have a man lost.
The sheep was lost in the darkness.
The silver was lost in the dust.
The son was lost in the distance.

There are some striking similarities in the stories.
There are some words and expressions common to each.
There are three words that ring out in each.
They are these: LOST, SEEK, REJOICE.
The word, lost, stands out in bold black letters in each story.
There are several words very prominent in the New Testament.
They are mostly monosyllables.

One is the word, come.
That is a blessed Gospel word.
The other is the word, now, which rings out repeatedly.
The other is this word, lost.
We see the word, lost, in one way or another from Genesis to Revelation.
It is heard especially in these three stories.

It is a terrifying thing to be lost.
To be lost in a big, bustling unfamiliar city or in a great forest is a pitiable plight.
To be lost forever is the biggest tragedy of all.
If the Bible does not teach that all men are lost then language has no meaning
and words are a jig-saw puzzle.

The sheep was lost because it had wandered from the fold and the shepherd.
God says, "All we, like sheep, have gone astray."
We see shepherd less men everywhere.

The coin was lost because it was out of circulation.
Unsaved people are like that silver.
Their lives are out of count, and useless.
The son was lost because he was in the far country.
He was no worker, but a waster.
He was no lifter, but a loose liver.

How they became lost.

The sheep just wandered away.
Men are like sheep.
Men get lost, not sometimes because they maliciously determine to be lost
but they just aimlessly drift from God.

The coin got lost because someone was careless.
A woman let it slip through her fingers.
Some boys and girls are lost because some parents have been careless and neglectful.
The son was lost because of downright determination to depart.
After all, sin in its essence is the desire and determination to do as we please.

"I was a wandering sheep,
I did not love the fold;
I did not love the Shepherd's voice,
I would not be controlled:
I was a wayward child,
I did not love my home,
1 did not love my father's voice,
I loved afar to roam."

The word, seek, runs right through all the stories.
The Master said: "The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost."
He also said: "As the Father hath sent Me even so send I you."

That should be sufficient to make each saint a seeker.
Some, like sinners, would make excuses.
Some say, "I have no special talents or training."
The woman in the middle parable had only a broom and a candle.
They are both common place.
The greatest need is determination.

In the first two stories the word, until, stands out.
We must keep at the search and refuse defeat.

The women sought "diligently until she found it."
The word, joy, also rings out of these parables of lost things.
There was joy in the fold, joy in the family.
Christ says there is joy in heaven when sinners are found and saved.
It is great to find things.
Our hearts, our homes, our churches, would be filled with heaven's joy
if only lost souls were saved.

As Christians we must "Go after them until we find them."

"And all through the mountains, thunder riven,
And up from the rocky steep,
There arose a cry to the gate of heaven,
Rejoice, I have found my sheep!
And the angels echoed around the Throne,
Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!
For the Lord brings back His own."


-- Sermon adapted