The Parable of the Lost Sheep 15 1 Now z the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes a grumbled, saying, b “This man receives sinners and c eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 4 d “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, e if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine f in the open country, and g go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, h he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for i I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who j repents than over ninety-nine k righteous persons who need no repentance. The Parable of the Lost Coin 8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, 1 if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before l the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” The Parable of the Prodigal Son 11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me m the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided n his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in o reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to 1 one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he p was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 “But q when he r came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, s I have sinned against t heaven and before you. 19 u I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and v ran and w embraced him and x kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. u I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 1 22 But the father said to his servants, 1 ‘Bring quickly y the best robe, and put it on him, and put z a ring on his hand, and a shoes on his feet. 23 And bring b the fattened calf and kill it, and c let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son d was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near 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 to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might e celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, f who has devoured g your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, h you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting e to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother i was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
15 1 Ἦσαν δὲ // αὐτῷ ἐγγίζοντες \\ πάντες οἱ τελῶναι καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀκούειν αὐτοῦ. 2 καὶ διεγόγγυζον οἵ ^ τε Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς. 3 εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγων· 4 Τίς ἄνθρωπος ἐξ ὑμῶν ἔχων ἑκατὸν πρόβατα καὶ ^ ἀπολέσας // ἐξ αὐτῶν ἓν \\ οὐ καταλείπει τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ καὶ πορεύεται ἐπὶ τὸ ἀπολωλὸς ἕως εὕρῃ αὐτό; 5 καὶ εὑρὼν ἐπιτίθησιν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὤμους ^ αὐτοῦ χαίρων, 6 καὶ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὸν οἶκον συγκαλεῖ τοὺς φίλους καὶ τοὺς γείτονας, λέγων αὐτοῖς· Συγχάρητέ μοι ὅτι εὗρον τὸ πρόβατόν μου τὸ ἀπολωλός. 7 λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι οὕτως χαρὰ // ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ἔσται \\ ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι ἢ ἐπὶ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα δικαίοις οἵτινες οὐ χρείαν ἔχουσιν μετανοίας. 8 Ἢ τίς γυνὴ δραχμὰς ἔχουσα δέκα, ἐὰν ἀπολέσῃ δραχμὴν μίαν, οὐχὶ ἅπτει λύχνον καὶ σαροῖ τὴν οἰκίαν καὶ ζητεῖ ἐπιμελῶς ἕως ^ οὗ εὕρῃ; 9 καὶ εὑροῦσα ^ συγκαλεῖ τὰς φίλας ^ καὶ γείτονας λέγουσα· Συγχάρητέ μοι ὅτι εὗρον τὴν δραχμὴν ἣν ἀπώλεσα. 10 οὕτως, λέγω ὑμῖν, // γίνεται χαρὰ \\ ἐνώπιον τῶν ἀγγέλων τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπὶ ἑνὶ ἁμαρτωλῷ μετανοοῦντι. 11 Εἶπεν δέ· Ἄνθρωπός τις εἶχεν δύο υἱούς. 12 καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί· Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας· // ὁ δὲ \\ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον. 13 καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν ^ πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως. 14 δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς ^ ἰσχυρὰ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι. 15 καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους· 16 καὶ ἐπεθύμει // γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ \\ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ. 17 εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν ^ ἔφη· Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου ^ περισσεύονται ἄρτων, ἐγὼ δὲ // λιμῷ ὧδε \\ ἀπόλλυμαι· 18 ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ· Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, 19 ^ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου· ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου. 20 καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ^ ἑαυτοῦ. ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη καὶ δραμὼν ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν. 21 εἶπεν δὲ // ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ \\ · Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, ^ οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός ^ σου. 22 εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ· ^ Ταχὺ ^ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν, καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας, 23 καὶ ^ φέρετε τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, θύσατε, καὶ φαγόντες εὐφρανθῶμεν, 24 ὅτι οὗτος ὁ υἱός μου νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησεν, // ἦν ἀπολωλὼς \\ καὶ εὑρέθη. καὶ ἤρξαντο εὐφραίνεσθαι. 25 Ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ· καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν, 26 καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα τῶν παίδων ἐπυνθάνετο τί ^ ἂν εἴη ταῦτα· 27 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὅτι Ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἥκει, καὶ ἔθυσεν ὁ πατήρ σου τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ὅτι ὑγιαίνοντα αὐτὸν ἀπέλαβεν. 28 ὠργίσθη δὲ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν εἰσελθεῖν. ὁ ^ δὲ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐξελθὼν παρεκάλει αὐτόν. 29 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ ^ αὐτοῦ· Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον, καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ· 30 ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον ^ μετὰ πορνῶν ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν // σιτευτὸν μόσχον \\ . 31 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· Τέκνον, σὺ πάντοτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν· 32 εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει, ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ^ ἔζησεν, καὶ ^ ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη.
Encouragement in evangelism, part 2 God delights to seek and to save the lost Intro : Recap part 1: the path, the rocks, the thorns, the good soil. We are the soil; we also have the privilege to sow the seed of the Word of God. Four angles of evangelism: 1. Knowing who we are in Jesus. Loved, free, supplied constantly with grace for service, co-operators, co-missionaries with the Lord. 2. Making connections and conversations with non-believers (intentional living). Our productivity idol hinders us greatly here. Even the business world gets this better than we do, with approaches to investing, networking etc. 3. Actually speaking the word of God. A true and apt piece (rather than the whole Bible) at a time; cf how Jesus speaks with people. 4. Connecting people to the community of God. Our pride gets in the way. Yet community is what begs the question, the 'final apologetic'. In today's passage, Luke 15, we read three parables Jesus told which show the different logic of the gospel, that pursues the lost. Invests in the non-productive, wasteful, and shameful. Jesus, revealing the Father, came to seek and save the lost (cf Luke 19.1-10). For us this means, 1) we are also to trace the ways of Jesus (our identity and expectations) as his followers; 2) we are to find ways to pursue and invest in the lost, though it seems profoundly wasteful; 3) the word to share is a word of grace to the unworthy; 4) we do this together and rejoice together. Note how it kicks off, verses 1-2 . They are grumbling over how Jesus spends his time, and who he spends it with. Self-righteousness. The three parables which follow are all the same, but the final one delivers the direct rebuke to self-righteousness. NB how we think about 'waste' also shows our sense of righteousness and value. 1. A man pursues his lost sheep and rejoices when he finds it (v3-7) Leaves the 99 to save the 1. Isn't that crazily illogical? Hard, persevering work is implied in the pursuit. v6 calls people together to rejoice. Isn't the rejoicing a bit over the top and wasteful? v7 why will there be joy in heaven over a sinner who repents? Aren't they already full of joy? 2. A woman searches for her lost coin and rejoices when she finds it (v8-10) Once again hard, persevering work is implied in the searching. v9 calls people together to rejoice. Isn't the rejoicing a bit over the top and wasteful? v10 again, why will there be joy in heaven over a sinner who repents? Aren't they already full of joy? 3. A Father rejoices when his lost son returns - but the older brother grumbles (v11-32) A picture of the selfish and destructive rebellion of sin. A picture of the people of Israel's history (exile and humiliation, at hands of Gentiles) A picture of outrageous grace and kindness of God the Father through Jesus. A picture of terrible self-righteousness; the older brother is actually blind to the grace he enjoys; this grumbling is what makes the link to v2. This third parable is similar, but different to the first two: All three end with rejoicing over the lost. Collective rejoicing - many together. All three have a clear privilege for the lost. But the final one ends by highlighting self-righteousness, which actually opposes the seeking and saving of the lost. Note how his self-righteousness is shown not only in his resentment of generosity to his brother, but in his resistance to community, to coming inside and joining others (his father goes out to him). The fattened calf - isn't that a waste? The banquet and fattened calf helps us answer the running question: Why such rejoicing in heaven; aren't they already happy? Over a sinner? The reason: since the glory of God is shown, and thus enjoyed - this incredible holy love which justifies the sinner. Not that more glory can be 'added' to God, like bars of gold. But that the glory of his extravagant generosity and kindness can be seen and enjoyed more. Applications : So it is actually our deep self-righteousnesses which stand in the way of seeking and saving the lost, not techniques or opportunities or even having the words to say. Bound up with what we view is a waste of time or emotional energy or money. Self-righteousness mocks and grumbles and criticises relating and investing with messy, sinful, waste of time people. Self-righteousness resents sinners being forgiven and celebrated . Heaven rejoices, but self-righteous people grumble. Self-righteousness misses the glory of forgiveness for the unworthy, and thus misses the rejoicing. Since they do not have the joy of seeing God's glory. Part of our 'death to self' lies in our plans for our schedule and our relationships. Death to a certain form of self-controlled productivity. We need to stick to a very different kind of logic, shown to us by the Lord Jesus in his parables and his life. E.g., Should church leaders focus primarily on 'net givers' in their congregations? Should churches focus on evangelising the wealthy and professional? What, specifically, do we mean: not one size fits all. But a way of living normal daily life which has a deliberate, sustained, persevering outward look to it. A particular energy into making connections with those who don't yet know Jesus [examples] [surprisingly low annual growth rate of the early church in first three centuries] Wrap up: God delights to seek and to save the lost. We need to ask ourselves, do we delight in seeking people and in seeing people saved? If not, what stops us from that delight? In today's passage, Luke 15, we read three parables Jesus told which show the different logic of the gospel, that pursues the lost. Invests in the non-productive, wasteful, and shameful. Jesus, revealing the Father, came to seek and save the lost (cf Luke 19.1-10). For us this means, 1) we are also to trace the ways of Jesus (our identity and expectations) as his followers, constantly challenging our own ingrained sense of waste and self-righteousness; 2) we are to find ways to pursue and invest in the lost, though it seems profoundly wasteful; 3) the word to share is a word of grace to the unworthy; 4) we do this together and rejoice together.