God’s rescue mission

In Luke 15, Jesus told a parable with three parts. The three parts are each concerned with something that was lost - a sheep, a coin and a son. Moreover, Jesus told the parable in order to point out the errors of the Pharisees to themselves. 

I attended a sermon this morning in which a preacher spoke on the first two - the sheep and the coin. The preacher pointed out that we should ask two questions here. First, we should ask, ‘What is Jesus saying about God?’ Second, we should ask, ‘What is Jesus saying about us?’ 

The preacher mentioned that we can depart from God in two opposite ways. One way is living badly and the other way is trying to please God by a life we imagine corresponds to his instructions. Jesus, in contrast to both of these options, mentioned that there was a third way, but we only realise it when we cease living according to the other two ways.

What do the illustrations of a shepherd and a busy woman tell us about God? First, he perseveres in looking for those who are lost. Second, he celebrates when those who are lost are found.

What do the illustrations of a lost sheep and a lost coin tell us about ourselves? First, we cannot do anything to put ourselves on the right road. Second, when we are found (or converted), we are made secure, and become a reason for celebration in heaven.

At different stages in life, I tried the two wrong ways of departing from God. Thankfully Jesus found me, and as far as the story of the shepherd is concerned I am on his shoulders, and will be there until he takes me to his destination. That is a secure place. Regarding the woman who lost the coin, I assume we are meant to think that she put it in a secure place from which it could not be lost again. So another reminder of security. 

The service this morning closed with the congregation singing Amazing Grace. It was a suitable response. 

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