NEW SERIES: Lost & Found – A Study in Luke
TEXT: Luke 15:1-7
MESSAGE: The Lost Sheep
“For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened,” He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship.” ― Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel)
TEXT: Luke 15:1-7
“Together the three parables form a tightly knit unit with a single, strongly Lukan theme — God’s love for outcasts and sinners.” — Robert Stein
Q: And so, as we study the parable of the lost sheep – where do you see yourself in the story?
Jesus’ words address this in three ways by confronting(1) The Common Perspective (2) The Radical Picture (3)  The Critical Point
  1. The Common Perspective (v. 1-3)
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable…”
“Jesus is saying that if Christianity is rightly understood and rightly proclaimed, it’s the only religion in the world that religious people hate. If religious people don’t hate it, it’s because it’s not being proclaimed. It’s not being understood. It’s not your badness; it’s your goodness; it’s not your moral failure so much as your moral successes that keep you from God.” — Timothy Keller
  1. The Radical Picture (v. 4-6)
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.”
Isaiah 53:6 — “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way…”
“Take Him away
He’s got nothing to say
Get out, You King of the, get out
Get out, You King of the Jews
Get out, You King of the Jews
Get out of my life”  Herods Song (Jesus Christ Superstar)
“God actively seeks out sinners and brings them home. The rabbis agreed that God would welcome the penitent sinner. But it is a new idea that God is a seeking God, a God who takes the initiative.”  C.G. Montefiore
  1. The Critical Point (v. 7)
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
“Numbers and the mania for metrics are therefore a critical element of secularization. Crucially for Jews and Christian, the Bible shows the link between statistics and self trust…Called to be a separate and distinct people, our call is to the “narrow” rather than the “broad” way.” — Os Guinness
TAKEAWAYS: How can we see ourself in the gospel story?
  • The gospel is seeing my lostness
  • The gospel is learning to repent
“…in all the Scripture there is not one condemning word spoken against a poor sinner stripped of self-righteousness…Let sin break your heart, but not your hope in the gospel.” – Thomas Wilcox
  • The gospel is reminding myself daily
“Preaching the gospel to ourselves is a spiritual discipline that is both proactive and reactive. It’s reactive as we encounter temptation and frustration and seek to restock in the moment, or as we reflect back on our sin and circumstances and try to evaluate them with a gospel lens. But it’s also proactive — it goes on the offense — when we feed our souls in some regular rhythm before the events and tasks and disappointments of daily life begin streaming our way.’ Tripp counsels that we make it a daily practice to ‘1) gaze on the beauty of Christ, 2) remember who we are as a child of God, 3) rest in his power and provision, and then 4) act in reliance upon him.” — Paul Tripp
“Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” — John 6:28-29

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