Week 26: September 25 - October 1
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open county, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
Luke 15 contains three of Christ’s parables, the parable of the Prodigal Son being the most well known. Many people, even non-believers, can probably recall the details of the story of the prodigal son. Unfortunately, many people read their Bibles and interpret scripture through the lens of our own lives and read it in small, disconnected chunks without any context. Then they apply the story without a real idea of what Jesus is communicating.
If we look at the entire chapter as one piece we can see Christ’s true intentions. These three parables are actually connected. They are connected by a theme of lost things: a lost sheep, coin, and son. The focus is the excitement of a lost item being found. This drives us back to the overall context and the beginning of this passage. These three stories are a response to a question from the Pharisees. They accused Jesus of sitting and eating with sinners. Jesus tells a parable to illustrate why he is right to be with sinners.
In the story of the prodigal son, we usually focus on the horrible state of the lost younger son. But Jesus also comments on the fact that the older brother, who is a picture of the Pharisees, is just as lost. He thinks that because he labored and didn’t rebel he is more righteous and perfect than the younger wayward son. But judging by the tone of the discussion, the older brother has no love for the father and only wants his inheritance just like the younger son. He is simply taking a different route to get there.
What does this mean for us? How can we apply this to our families? Many times in our “church group” we can act like the Pharisee. We look at our church as a group closed off from the world and we get nervous when a “sinner” or “unbeliever” gets too close to our inner circle. We don’t look at unbelievers as a lost item that God is drawing and will rejoice when found in salvation.
We need to teach our children that just because we go to church and are a part of a church family, that doesn’t mean that our children are automatically saved. Many of our children will grow up in a church context and act like Christians but have no love or personal relationship with the Father, God. Many of our children are content to wait patiently in our homes and follow our Christian rituals until they move out of our homes. These are perfect examples of the older brother.
But the biggest lesson is in the rejoicing that takes place when a lost item is found. When a sinner comes to Christ. When a child in our home who is cold and hard toward God melts and turns to Christ in salvation. We will only learn to truly celebrate once we have truly seen souls as utterly lost.
- Pray that God helps us rejoice at the drawing and salvation of sinners.
- Pray that God will create an opportunity for a Gospel conversation this week.
- Pray that God will develop in you a heart of prayer and dependence on Him.