Parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin (Upside Down Kingdom series #2)
Jason White



How does God feel about lost people? Does He even want them to be found? Does He even care? Join us today to hear two of Jesus’ parables that show us God’s heart for the lost and heaven’s joy when a sinner repents!






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*This transcript was auto-generated by a transcription service and may differ from the originally spoken content*So apparently one of the things that I'm good at in this life is losing things. Apparently, I'm pretty good at that, right. But here's what I've found. And maybe some of you were like me, and you're good at losing things as well. But here's what I've learned, there are some things that are worth looking for when you lose them. And there are other things that really aren't so worth looking for if you lose them. But one of the things that I've just completely given up on looking for if I lose them is socks. I just won't do it any more, it's impossible to find socks when you lose them. We've lived in five different houses throughout our 20 years of marriage. And I am convinced that each one of them there was a monster that has lived in our house and he has a steady diet of just socks. That's just what he eats over and over because I can't ever find them when I've looked for them. So that's one thing I've just given up on. I'm not hunting Lego pieces anymore. I'm not looking for puzzle pieces. Those are impossible to find. I'm not looking for change. It's pointless, right? I mean, whoever pays with cash anymore. And besides everything costs like a billion dollars in our world now. Anyway, what's a nickel going to do for me, right? So there are some things that just aren't worth looking for if you lose them, but there certainly are other things that are worth looking for. If you lose them. I lost my son one time. He was two. We were on vacation. We had just checked into this little condominium. And we were on the third floor and we were getting settled in. And apparently we were getting so settled in that we failed to realize that our two year old son just walked right out the door we had walked in, after we looked around we I mean it gone on for a little while unpacking all of our stuff. And somebody finally goes, Hey, have you seen or heard Eli. And so I don't know how long had passed before we realized that we hadn't heard him anywhere. So we just assume he's in there hiding or doing something. So our first few minutes is looking inside and all around there. And he's nowhere to be seen. And so then it hits me he's he's not in here, like he's out there somewhere in the real world, right. And so I'm opening up the door to the outside world, we're on the third floor, and there's a lake nearby. So that's really good. I mean, panic is really setting in here. I mean, there's anxiety, there's real worry about what could have happened to him and where he is. And so I mean, I'm frantically running around the entire floor, and I'm calling his name, I'm yelling, and I'm getting nothing at one point in time I passed by an elevator and I'm like, I guess I should go down and look in other places. And I didn't know where the stairs were. And so I punch the button and the door opens and there's Eli nothing but a diaper and a big old grin on his face. Go, Hey, Dad, you want to come in and play with me? You know, I've never been more relieved in my life to see him and find him in that moment. But again, some things are worth searching for. If you lose them, you would think I would have learned my lesson. But just last week, I lost my daughter to Yeah, I looked three times around the church like, like three full times upstairs, downstairs, this building that building everywhere. She's not there. I've got four different staff members looking for her to none of us can find her. 45 minutes later, she just comes walking down the stairs right in front of me and like, Hey, What are y'all doing? Nothing. I certainly weren't looking for you or anything. I still don't know where she was at. Right. But apparently, I'm pretty good at losing things. But these are the kinds of things I mean, people generally are worth looking for. If they get lost, right? No, unfortunately, what's really sad is that sometimes there are certain people that we deem not worth looking for. I mean, we all know people who have kind of lost their way before, right? And what do we say about people when they've really lost their way and they've gone a little bit too far. We say Well, well, they're lost causes right? And when we say you're a lost cause, what we're really saying is, is you're not worth looking for. You're so far gone and you're so far lost, that you're not worth my attention. There's no reason for me to come looking for you and try to rescue you from the situation that you are in. You're too far gone. So Sometimes the hard part about that is that you and I can feel that way about ourselves, you and I can begin to lose our way sometimes. And there's a sense of shame that comes along with that. And you and I can get to the point where we feel like we've kind of become a lost cause. And we get to the point where we certainly wouldn't expect anyone to come looking for us or to help help us find our way back either. Because we know like, we understand there are some people in this world who are valuable. In there are others of us who are not, we wouldn't expect you to come looking for us, we know the route that we've chosen, we know the decisions that we've made, we know where we're at in life, not expecting someone to come look for us when we get there. So that is how we can often feel about ourselves. That's how we can often view other people in this world. But I wonder what Jesus thinks, I wonder what Jesus thinks about lost people, people that are lost causes. This is week two of our upside down kingdom message series where we're focusing on the parables of Jesus, and we're learning the values of his kingdom, the kingdom that you and I are from, if we put our faith and trust in Jesus, where we've been made citizens of heaven, and now are left as ambassadors of the kingdom that we're from. And so it would be important for us to realize the values of the kingdom that we're now from. So it can allow him to manifest those values through us and turn the world and our community upside down. Because those will always be values that are upside down from the world's values. Right. And so we started this last week. Today we're going to continue to look at a couple of Jesus's parables I asked you to turn to Luke chapter 15. A minute ago, there's there's two parables that we're going to look at. But first, Luke sets the context he sets the scene before he tells us about the parables that Jesus told in verse one. He says, Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathered around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law murdered, this man welcomes sinners and eats with them. So Jesus is about to tell two parables now beginning in verse three, but this is important for us to note before we look at the parables, because it's in response to what these Pharisees just said, that Jesus is going to tell these particular parables, these Pharisees were complaining and muttering that Jesus welcomed sinners that he was eating with them. In other words, Jesus was saying, or the Pharisees were saying, Jesus, these people have lost their way. Jesus, these people are lost causes. So why in the world are you associating with them? They're too far. Gone? Don't we think it was they weren't really asking. They were telling him they were telling Jesus that they were lost causes that they were too far gone, and they shouldn't be eating with them, or associating with them. And make no mistake about it. These were really lost people that Jesus was hanging out with. I mean, these are the kind of people that would root for the Philadelphia Eagles. I mean, they're, they're bad people right.Now, Darrell Bock says that senators in this day and age were perceived as forfeiting their relationship to God, because of a lifestyle unfaithful to God's law. Their lost causes, they've already forfeited their right to a relationship with God because of their unfaithfulness to the law. The center's would have included murderers and robbers and deceivers and prostitutes, the Pharisees even labeled the deformed and the diseased in this category. These were bad people. You were too far gone, they were last causes, the tax collectors weren't seen as any better, maybe even worse in their eyes, because these were Jewish people who had gone to work for the enemy for the Roman Empire collecting taxes from their own people to fund the very regime that was responsible for making their lives miserable, right. And so tax collectors were hated and and despised and if it was even possible to be such a thing, they were beyond lost causes, right? Not just lost, not just lost causes but beyond that. lost causes, there's definitely no room for people like them in the kingdom of God, in the eyes of the Pharisees, but here we have Jesus associating with them, eating with them. And it's in response to these religious leaders complaining about him doing so that he tells these parables beginning in verse three, then Jesus told them this parable, suppose one of you has 100 sheep, and loses one of them, doesn't he leave the 99 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 his neighbors together and says, Rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99, righteous persons who do not need to repent, verse eight, or suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses one of them, doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it. And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, Rejoice with me, I have found my lost coin, in the same way I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. So Jesus tells these two parables, of course, the shepherd who leaves 99 other sheep to go find the one and the woman who has 10 coins, loses one of them and goes to find that turns the house upside down to find it and and Jesus makes a reference that, hey, this really isn't about a sheep really isn't about a coin. These are representations of sinners, right, and how it is that they are viewed. And so there's three things that I think this parable teaches us that shows us about senators and how they're viewed in the kingdom of God. The very first one is this, senators are last but not forgotten. Centers are lost but not forgotten. One of the things that we have to take note of when Jesus tells this parable and relates things that are lost to centers, is that centers are indeed lost. We have to highlight that in pointing that out, especially in a world that sometimes celebrate sin, that uses sin, to define themselves and to define meaning and purpose and value in some ways to establish an identity with sin in our world. We see the opposite of that here we see the opposite of that at all, throughout God's word. Sinners are separated from God, we all fall into that category. It goes all the way back to Genesis three in the garden, God is a holy and a perfect God, and he cannot associate and be in the presence of sin. And so we're, we're all lost, we've all lost our way. And because we are lost and separated from God, and because of the things that we've done, that are really offensive to him, it would make sense to us that we would just kind of be forgotten. I mean, we see that happen in our world all the times there are things that get forgotten and key or they get lost and people just forget about them. There are people who lose their way there are people who become lost causes and they just kind of become forgotten. They're the Forgotten of society. And so we would expect I mean, with this being the God of the universe, if we've lost our way and treated him in this particular way, then it just would seem to follow and make sense that he would forget us but this terrible teaches us exactly the opposite. The God of the universe knows your name, the God of the universe thinks about you, you are on his mind you are in his thoughts and he is concerned about you.centres are lost but not forgotten. The second thing this parable shows us is that centers are lost, but greatly and highly valued. The shepherd had 99 other sheep. The woman had nine other coins, it would have been really easy to just go so what I lost one, I've got 99 more, right? I've got nine other valuable coins here. What does it matter if I've lost one but because they both searched for them frantically? This shows us that the sheep that the coin were extremely valuable to them, which shows us the way God feels about us you are greatly valued by God, it can be easy to think otherwise, because of the choices that you've made throughout your life, or maybe something that's been done to you, it could be easy to think that you aren't worth much. And listen, that may be true in this world, you may not be thought of a lot in this world, by other people, because of the choices that you've made, or whatever it is that's been done to you. That is not the way it is in God's kingdom. God greatly values you, no matter who you are, no matter what it is that you've done, no matter where you've been, no matter what's been done to you, you are greatly valued, you are a valuable part of His creation, you may feel worthless, but to God, you are a treasure, a treasure that is worth looking for. So you may be lost, but you are not forgotten, you may be lost, but you are greatly valued. The third thing that this parable teaches us is that centers are lost, but they are searched for you are looked for, as someone who is lost and think about this for a second. When we think about ourselves being lost. A lot of times what we think is that we need to find our way back to God. We've lost our way. We need to find our way back to God to get into his good graces, we need to work ourselves out of our lostness to be in good favor with him. But the perspective of this parable is not that you need to find your way back to God. It's that God is looking for you. He is the one doing the searching. And he's left 99 others to chase after you. I mean, I think of and I picture, the parable and the shepherd out there, and he's leaving the 99. And this is rough, rugged territory. I mean, he's taken off running and he's running up hills. He's going over mountains, he's jumping over rivers, he's running through thick forest and pushing limbs and thorns and all kinds of stuff. And this is like Last of the Mohicans kind of stuff here. Some of y'all are too young to know, Alaska, Mike is the rest of you are like Dude, that's it, man. I'm getting fired up now about it, right. I mean, he's run and he's charged and he's chasing whatever is in his way he's working through to get to you the picture of the woman in the house isn't like, I lost my little coin here. Let's is it there? Nope. Okay. I mean, it's like she's turning the house over. Right? I lost my key one time. Do you know how expensive keys to cars are? Like, they're expensive, especially if you want the remote and the little things that they come through. So like that was valuable to me. And it was in the house. I mean, I knew it was there, y'all. I tore that house upside down. I mean, I'm pulling clothes out of drawers and throwing them on the floor. Every one of them mine. My kids. Natalie's like I'm going through the bathroom. There shouldn't be a key shouldn't be in there. All the toiletries are on the floor. Now. I've got kitchen utensils and cups and plates and everything all over the place. Because I'm trying I'm turning the house. This is what we the picture we get because it's valuable. You're flipping over mattresses, you're looking under the bed. I mean, you're looking in every little place that that thing could be because it is valuable to you. This is the picture we get of our father. Later on in Luke's gospel. I mean, Luke is the one recording these parables. Later on. It tells us that Jesus even said, This is why he came here. Luke chapter 19, verse 10, says the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. This was his mission. You were lost. He came on a rescue mission to find you, to rescue you from where you were. So you may be lost. You may have lost your way you may feel like a lost cause that you are forgotten that you are worthless that no one cares enough to look for you. But this is not true. About the kingdom of God. It may be true of this world, but it is not true of God's kingdom. Your Creator thinks about you constantly. He sees you as a treasure and he has already turned the world upside down to find you. He's already done it. See the price that he had Pay what was necessary to redeem you out of your lostness to find you in the situation that you were in was death, death on a cross a humiliating and excruciatingly painful death was the price and he was willing to pay that price because you were not forgotten by him. And you were valuable to him so valuable that he was willing to give his own life in order to bring you home. This is what he thinks about you. Now all that's left for you to do is to allow him to rescue you. You do that by putting your faith and trust in him. It's a gift that you receive, through putting your faith and trust in Him. And when you do, Scripture tells us that in that moment, there is a change that takes place that your sins are completely forgiven, that you are made a brand new creation in Christ, you become part of His kingdom, you become part of his family, you have a place to belong. You're brought home in that moment. And so for some of you who are here today, for if you if you're watching on line, I can't help but see that maybe God's found you today. You're here, you're watching online. What prompted you to come today? What prompted you to click on this and watch it right now, God in his search for you, so that you could discover that he's already done what was necessary to find you to rescue you to bring you home and that all you would have to do is receive it. And maybe that's the step that he's leading some of you to take today to put your faith and trust in Him and receive His forgiveness and allow him to bring you home. And I hope that you'll do that before you leave today if that applies to you. Now, there's one other thing that we need to look at in these parables, because I think that's what will apply to a lot of us who are here today, and we've put our faith and trust in Jesus for salvation. See, in both parables, when the lost sheep is found, and the lost coin is found. The shepherd and the woman are both seen as rejoicing and inviting other people to rejoice with them. And then Jesus makes these statements in each parable. He says, I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who do not need to repent. And then he says in the same way, in the second parable, I'll tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. In other words, remember, Jesus is telling this parable to the Pharisees, in response to the Pharisees and the religious leaders who were wondering why Jesus was eating with them and why he was associating with them. He was teaching them that in the kingdom of God, lost people are valuable. See, they had missed it. They thought what was valued by God and His kingdom was actually staying away from lost people. What was valued, they thought was separating themselves from lost people. What they thought is, what was to be valued was to call them out and shame them for who they are, and the choices that they've made, and the things that they've done as people who are lost and lost causes. But Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, who are muttering and complaining before him that day, that these last sinners are valuable to him that they're valuable in God's kingdom. And instead of complaining and muttering, what they should have been doing was rejoicing with him.But they had missed it. In some times, you and I can miss that as well. You and I can miss that the last are valued in the kingdom that you and I are now from, because a lot of us again, think what's valued is separating ourselves from the senators in this world. What a lot of us feel like our job is to make sure that we call them out and shame them. I mean, these poor people who are ruining our music, they're ruining our movies. They're ruining our culture. They are ruining our nation. We are supposed to call them out. We are supposed to shame them for ruining the things that we love and In God's creation, while it is that we are here, and Jesus is saying, no, no, no, no, you don't understand how much I love and how much I value the very people that you are trying to shame and separate yourself from, you've missed it. So what Jesus is inviting us as he's revealing this truth to us, as those who are from his kingdom, as those who he's left here, as ambassadors of the kingdom that we're now from, to make sure that we know the truth about what's valued, what's a part of the new heart that He's given us and who he's remade us into, because it's gonna be kind of hard to value something from the kingdom or from if we don't even know that it's a value. But once we know it's a value, and it's a part of who he's made us at the very core of the new creation that he's born into, than you and I can look for that kind of activity in our lives, and begin to see people through a very different lens than the way the rest of the world sometimes sees them. And so the question becomes, are you valuing the sinners of this world? Do you see them as valuable treasure? Who are worth looking for? Do you remember them? Are you allowing him to use you to search for them? This is what he's inviting all of us into? Do you find that being true of your life? Or do you find it being a little bit more like the Pharisees? If Jesus showed up today, and started eating and having dinner with the very people that we sometimes are calling out as ruining everything in anti God in this world? Would you and I be going Jesus? Why are you eating with those people. But that's what we're saying, with the way we sometimes respond to those people in this world by doing the things that we're doing, we wouldn't expect Jesus to come to eat with them, he cometo you with me. Right? And we find ourselves in the exact same situation as them.And so this is the question before all of us today. And if that is us, then Jesus is wanting us to see what his most valued the last or value, he's wanting us to see that what he wants to do in in through us is to love the last, to actually serve the loss, to actually invite the lost into our own lives in our own churches, so that he can reveal his love in His grace and His mercy for them. And find them in the same way that he found us. This is what you and I are invited into ourselves. And we've said over and over again, already in just the two weeks, that as we allow Jesus to manifest the values of his kingdom in and through us into this world. Because they're so upside down, it will turn our world in our community upside down, as well. And make no mistake about it. A lot of people are used to the church, valuing separation from those that were against. They've seen the church valuing, calling people out there against if they start to see the church, valuing them, instead, loving them, instead, serving them instead, inviting them in instead, that will be the kind of thing that turns our world upside down. And this is what you and I are called into in a type of church that he's recreated us into, and to be used in his activity for let's make ourselves available for him to use, to seek and to save the lost in and through us. Father, thank you for going on this rescue mission for us. We realized that's what you did, that you left the glory and the riches of heaven, to come here to find us and you accomplished what was necessary to find us and to bring us home. You've done it all through the finished work of the Cross. Lord, there are some who are here in this moment, and they've never allowed you to find them. In a sense, they've never said yes to you. And you're opening up their hearts to see how much you love them and how much you care about them and how much you value them. And I just pray, Lord, that You would continue to open up their hearts to say yes to you today. My father, for the rest of us who have been rescued, remind us over and over again of what's valued in the kingdom that we are now from, and how you want to manifest those values through us. We make ourselves available to you to serve the last through us, to love the loss through us to invite the lost into our world with us. And Father, I pray that through those things, they'll see and experience your love. And then there'll be brought home as well and that will rejoice with you in it. Please, Lord Jesus, use us in Your Kingdom work. And it's in your name that we pray. Amen.