We come to two parables of Jesus: the parable of the Lost sheep and the parable of the Lost Coin. It says, that the woman in the story has 10 silver coins and loses one. She does not shrug it off, but searches the house thoroughly until she finds it. Jesus explains the parable, that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents”.
Please read John 3:16.
Something is Lost
So, this morning we want to consider three main points of the parables; 1) something is lost 2) there is a search for the lost 3) joy when the lost is found.
Can you remember when you lost something, and you had such a hard time searching for it, and such a hard time trying to find it. Well, in the first parable we heard that a sheep is lost and on the second parable a coin is lost. It is not important how they were lost, what is important is that the shepherd knows that the sheep is lost and that the woman knows how many silver coins belong to her.
We must rejoice that our Heavenly Father “knows those who are his” (2 Tim2:19). The God that we serve knows us and He knows who we are, when we are lost.
A Search for the Lost
In verse 4 it talks about the shepherd leaving the ninety-nine to after the one that is lost, until He finds it. The second parable tells us that the woman who lost the coin” lights a lamp and sweepsthe house and seeks diligently until she finds it” This is a great witness when it comes to sharing the love of Christ (pause).
The lost will not just come back on their own. The Bible tells us in Romans 10:14” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written. ‘how beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!
This is a great illustration of God’s pursuit of sinners. There is an old hymn that many of us are aware ‘the words are, pass me not, O gentle Savior, Hear my humble cry; while on others thou art calling, do not pass me by.’ God who “shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
Joy for the Lost being Found
In both parables we read that in both incidences, there is a time of rejoicing when the lost is found. Jesus said when the man found the lost sheep, he put it on his shoulders, and begin to rejoice, the woman who found the lost coin, called her friends, shouting and rejoicing, praising God. This is a joy that is unspeakable (pause). All heaven rejoices when a person commits their life to Jesus Christ and enters the kingdom of heaven.
God’s Lost & Found
These two parables are practical and they are a reminder for us, to continue to focus on the mission that has been set before us. Let us always take time to rejoice, when we would hear about a someone who was once lost and now is found.
If I may add to the sermon theme, those who are poor in this life may, in fact, be those whom God has selected for eternal life. Jesus wastes no time in describing this rich man in the story.
The Rich Man (Luke 16:19)
He gives us a couple of important details: notice first, this man was clothes in purple and fine linen. His clothing was the best money could buy. When it came to himself, he spared no expense? In the book of Acts, it talks about how Lydia was a seller of purple and fine linen. Purple represents royalty, it was also wrapped around Jesus, when they hurled insults, while beating Him.
Next Jesus mentions that this man feasted every day. When you think about this word, we thank of Thanksgiving or Christmas. Having an abundance of food, he feasted so often and didn’t hardly think about it (story of prodigal son). How could you be clothed in the finest linen, easting every day, while you are fifty feet away lay a man in tattered clothing, sick, and starving? You would think that this rich man would send one of his servants to take care of this poor man.
The Poor Man (Luke 16:20-21)
Jesus notes, that this poor man was in very close vicinity to the rich man. While in this life, the rich man had ample time to tend to the needs of Lazarus but never gave him second thought (pause) Can you see this picture one man clothed in purple and the other clothed with sores.
Was the rich man blessed because he was rich? Was Lazarus under divine judgment because of he was suffering so? The rich man lived in a gated community. Cities had gates. Lazarus, on the other hand, had no home at all. This is a sad state of affairs; however, something is about to change.
The Rich Man and the Poor Man in the Life to Come (Luke 16:22-23). Read.
Did God bless the rich man because he fared so well while on earth? Was Lazarus under divine judgment because he suffered so? Jesus shares a comparison and contrast of these two men. They both died. Notice the switch in their circumstances.
Lazarus no longer suffered. He no longer was hungry and needy. He now had a home and rather than being mocked as he lay at the man’s gate, he was cared for and he now feasting.
Lazarus blew his last breath, and carried away, placed in the bosom of Abraham and the angel. He was in the bosom of Abraham. This is a figurative phrase that appears to have been drawn from a popular belief that the righteous would rest by Abraham’s side in the world to come. A place of bliss and security the poor man is receiving his eternal inheritance and the rich man is suffering eternally.
There are five (5) wrong assumptions according to the fallacy of the rich man’s thinking. Luke 16:24-28
1-Abraham was his father (16:24-25)
2-His status in this life continued in the Life to Come
3-The great gulf between heaven and hell can be crossed (16:26)
4-Some people are entitled to special treatment (16: 27-28)
5-Miracle will bring about repentance (16:29-31)
Hearing is a very important theme in Luke’s Gospel. The phrase to hear or those who have ears to hear, is hearing with a response.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” You are Blessed if you hunger after the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, and blessed are those who cannot be salt in their own strength.
What Jesus is saying will affect all of us today, you are the body of Christ, you are the salt of this earth. Jesus said to His disciples if you lose the flavor of true discipleship in striving after selfish ambition, you will become useless. We need to allow the salt to preserve us from selfish ambitions in order to maintain that flavor.
In the Bible you will find almost fifty references to salt. Here are some of the common references.
Leviticus 2:13 “Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.
Numbers 18:19: “Whatever is set aside from the holy offerings the Israelites present to the Lord. I give to you and your sons and daughters as your regular share. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the Lord for both you and your offspring.”
2 Chronicles 13:5 “Don’t you know that the Lord. The God of Israel, has given the kingship of Israel to David and his descendants forever by a covenant of salt?
Ezekiel 43:24 “You are to offer them before the Lord, and the priests are to sprinkle salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord.
Mark 9:50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make its salty again/ Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”
Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
“You are the salt of the earth.”Notice how I said this, it is an indicative rather than an imperative statement. Jesus is saying, Be salt!” or “You must be salt”, or “You should be salt,” or it would be nice for you to be salt.” No, if you are “blessed ones” as I stated in the beginning, you are truly my disciples, that means, “you are the salt of the earth.”
If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, we cannot say that we don’t mind to be a follower of Jesus Christ but refuse to be salt. You either are a follower of Jesus or not. And if you are a follower of Jesus, then salt is what you are, whether you asked for it or not.
What does it mean to be salt? Salt is refined. So as Christians we must have impurities removed from ourselves. Salt melts, Christians should thaw bitterness and prejudice. Salt creates thirst, there should be something about us that makes people to want what we have.
Let me share some other precepts about salt. Salt is Palatable, it adds taste to your food, it brings out flavor, are you bringing out meaning into people’s lives? Salt is precious. In Jesus day salt was a precious commodity and it had enormous value than what it is today. As salt followers we are extremely precious in His eyes.
Salt penetrates the food into which it is inserted. It permeates through out the dish. As Christians we want to permeate the flavor of the gospel in the community and surrounding the areas. Salt preserves and prevents. Back in Jesus days, there were no freezers. The only way to preserve meat was to salt it away, prevent it from destruction and decay. We are palatable, precious, penetrating preservative that prevents decay. ‘We are the salt of this earth.” Don’t lose your saltiness.
Continue to stay seasoned through the word of God.