“What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?”
I like ‘red letter’ editions of the Holy Scriptures. I will personally pause when I read these selected verses, pausing to process the steady fact that these are Jesus’ own words. They are different, and there is a quality to them that is not found in the thoughts of mere men. I have no doubt of the inspiration of all of God’s Word. I trust it implicitly.
When I make that pause, very often I reflect afresh on what I’m about to read, and my heart starts preparing to listen closer. In Luke 15, everything is lost; a lost coin, a lost sheep, and a lost son. All three link and give a common theme of
1) Something getting away,
2) The value of that lost thing,
3) The diligent searching that follows,
4) The apprehension of that which is lost,
5) The joy of the finder over the recovery of the thing which was lost.
These three parables strengthen each other. Together they have the deep power of declaration. They speak of the merciful heart of our Heavenly Father with a permanence and eloquence that defies any comparison.
When we read Jesus’ words they reveal to us the intense searching that the Lord has for our lost souls, and that is the central theme of all history. Jesus is looking for you– concentrating intently and focused.
It doesn’t matter how ensnared you are, or how deeply you have sunk. God’s love for you compels Him to seek you. He will reach into the thorns and thistles, if He has to. Perhaps your sin has been frequent and you are stained deeply. The declaration of Jesus’ words reveals the heart of God. It is irrevocable and central to the way God deals with us.
What is the secret of the universe? Why does reality exist? What is the purpose of human history?
I believe it is the apprehension and deliverance of human beings.
That’s it. What should the Church be doing? Finding and rescuing people who are lost. That is the purpose of everything, and that searching is to be our focus.
The question remains of what about God’s thinking? Jesus’ words (in red) reveal the true essence of His dealings with us. He will always act this way! He is constant and true. He will always be this way. Searching, finding, redeeming and celebrating. Don’t doubt His love for you.