We don’t go on to read the third, the parable of the prodigal son, since we read that earlier in the year on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Take a moment to look in your Bible at Luke chapter 15 and you too can benefit from what others have discovered – a group of three lost parables. Many have swallowed the lie of evolution, for example, believing that man is nothing more than a sophisticated animal with no creator and no eternal soul. What is clear is that the true Shepherd delights equally in the remedy – likely to be the same multifaceted gospel and result. He desires to save them, give them His Holy Spirit, and help them through a life of overcoming that ends in eternal life. The kind and caring shepherd naturally goes out and searches for the lost animal, even though he must temporarily leave the other sheep – a flock of ninety-nine – in order to do so. It is sometimes easier to identify those on the outside of the church, unbelieving sinners, from those on the inside, who fall into the same category. In connection with the coins, Paula Gooder makes an interesting point that coins on a headdress or worn are a Bedouin tradition and this woman has a house so cannot be one of that nomadic tribe. The younger son symbolizes the lost (the tax collectors and sinners of that day, Luke 15:1), and the elder brother represents the self-righteous (the Pharisees and teachers of the law of that day, Luke 15:2). The parable of the Prodigal Son is about a lost son. The opening question focusses primarily on Jesus; the focus in the parables is the joy of the one searching and finding that which was lost; and the rejoicing is ‘in heaven’ and ‘amongst the angels’. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. The lost coin, however, did not have a clue! Luke 15:5-7. After squandering all that he had, the prodigal son finally “came to himself” and in the process began to think of home. I think the context of the previous chapter is important where Jesus exmphises the difficulty of being a disciple. And earlier, Luke has made explicit what is only implicit in Matthew and Luke, that Jesus has come to those sick in sinfulness to bring the medicine of forgiveness: ‘I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance‘ (Luke 5.32). Although there is a popular reading of this story in which the despised and marginal shepherd is foolish enough to leave the 99 unprotected in order to find the one that is lost, none of this has foundation either in the text or in cultural reality. Some people were reared in a godly and righteous family environment. For example, you can type “Luke 6” in the Search box and only the parables in Luke 6 will be displayed, or you can type “John” in the search box and find all the Parables in the book of John. The parables of the lost in Luke 15 September 27, 2019 September 13, 2019 by Ian Paul The Sunday lectionary gospel for Trinity 13 in Year C is the first two of the three ‘parables of the lost’ in Luke 15, the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin. Jesus' discourse in Luke 15 breaks down into three distinct illustrations: The Lost Sheep (verses 4-7), The Lost Coin (verses 8-10), and The Lost Son (verses 11-32). Parables of Luke 15 (Part Three) Jesus' discourse in Luke 15 breaks down into three distinct illustrations: The Lost Sheep (verses 4-7), The Lost Coin (verses 8-10), and The Lost Son (verses 11-32). Now for the application, How many people are there on the earth at this very moment who realize they are lost (in a spiritual sense) but do not know what to do about it? In Luke 15, Jesus told several parables that are very familiar. Christ claims for Himself the title of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14). Jesus would have us to correctly identify our lost condition and act accordingly. Comment: Just people need no repentance because they need no change of mind and purpose. The Lost Son Finally, we come to the third and final “lost” parable; that of the lost son, more commonly known as the prodigal son. It was a serious matter to lose a sheep, worse to lose money, and worst of all to lose a son. ‘Sinners’ refers to those who do not meet the demands of being ‘righteous’, and so are at the margins of religious society, and are probably ready to respond in repentance—but the term is use by Luke in quite general ways. Their criticism implied that Christ allowed these sinners in His presence because He was like them in character. The Scribes and Pharisees ought to be glad, therefore, that Jesus was spending time with the sinners. (Joel Green, p 576). The set of ten coins was most likely either some family savings, or possibly the dowry given to the woman by her husband on her marriage. To make a one-off or repeat donation to support the blog, use PayPal with the button below: Is Jesus' ministry (un)like that of the prodigal's…, Is the kingdom of heaven about God's initiative or…, The mix of good and evil in the Parable of the Weeds…, The Parable of the Sower and Soils in Matthew 13, in relation to the Christmas story in Luke 2, offers fascinating reading of the parallel account in Matthew 18. We are assured that such a heart will not be rejected by God. Why does man possess aspirations to great spiritual enlightenment and eternal fellowship with his creator if it is impossible to attain such? 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: The Parable of the Lost Sheep. Does Jesus accept us as we are—or call us to ‘repent’? People who are lost and do not even realize it. The whole chapter is essentially one distinct parable with three illustrations. There is a hint in their accusation that Jesus does not merely accept invitations, but acts as host himself, in the language of ‘receives’ or ‘welcomes’ (προσδέχεται), but in fact the only meal at which Jesus is depicted explicitly as host is the last supper. I had an interesting discussion with a friend online earlier in the week, where he suggested that these parables should be understood the opposite way around from the traditional reading, with the thing that was lost and found being Jesus and the kingdom, and the one searching being the person who discovers faith. I am writing this sitting in the desert in Jordan (as it happens), and even today it is not uncommon to see flocks of sheep and goats wandering apparently without a herdsman; the primary focus here is that the one has become separated off from the rest of the herd, and so would be distressed and in need of gathering back. However, the parables are not lost in the sense that they have been missing. If you have no realization that you are even lost, read the New Testament. Using the Search box you may search for any parable by name or verse. In their arrogance they thought Jesus ought to be spending his time with them. The parallel parable of the woman searching for the coin forms one of the many male-female pairs in Luke’s gospel, and offers a surprising image of the searching of God for the lost in contrast to the more conventional images of the shepherd and the father. The complaint of the ‘Pharisees and teachers of the law’ about the company Jesus keeps closely echoes their complaint against him in Luke 5.30. And those whom Jesus is addressing, who see themselves as leaders of Israel, could hardly fail to see the connections with God’s rebuke to the failed ‘shepherds’ of Israel in Ezek 34.7–11. They never understood that He allowed them in His presence to save them from their sins, as Ezekiel had prophesied. The first is the jarring discontinuity between the content of the stories and Jesus’ exposition of their meaning. You might expect the “Righteous” to accept it and the “Sinners” to reject it where the reverse is true! There are people like this as well. That is why the non-conventional reading I mentioned at the beginning is unconvincing. The ‘parable’ of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25. But Mikeal Parsons (Paideia p 236) highlights the numerological significance of the 99 and 100. But the strong parallel in each case of ‘heaven rejoicing when a sinner repents’ makes the parallel impossibleI think. Jesus' intention is to reveal that, as the Son of Man, He came into the world to seek and save the lost. In contrast to some of the surrounding chapters, this looks like a clearly linked block of teaching filling the whole of chapter 15. If you will, look back at the first two verses of Luke chapter 15 and you will notice that just before Jesus spoke the parable a group of Scribes and Pharisees (the religious leaders of the Jews) came on the scene and were complaining because Jesus was receiving sinners and eating with them.