God’s Heart For The Lost (Luke 15:1-10)
Luke 15 opens with the Pharisees’ criticism of Jesus’ open association with known sinners and social outcasts. What follows are three different parables that each express the same sentiment:
- The Anguish of Losing
- The Effect of Searching
- The Joy of Finding
They each display God’s heart for the lost. These parables are a model for us, of the type of heart we should have toward the lost.
The Heart of a Shepherd (Luke 15:1-7)
- The shepherd’s heart turns his eyes from the many to find the one. (v. 4)
- The heart of the shepherd continues to search “until he finds it.” (v. 4b)
- The heart of a shepherd positions itself to rescue the one that’s lost. (v. 5)
Where are lost sheep?
They can be found anywhere. There are lost sheep on street corners and lost sheep in the corner office. Meaning, people can be in a place of provision, and yet still be lost.
“Sheep can be in the middle of green pastures and still lost.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
You may look like you have everything you need. But a shepherd’s heart will say, “You are hopeless and helpless, and I need to pick you up.”
The Heart of a Covenant Keeper (Luke 15:8-10)
The first parable references one who is lost outside. But this parable refers to one who is lost in the house.
1) This heart recognizes the value of what is lost. (v. 8)
You are so valuable to me that I will search for you.
2) This heart illuminates and cleans the area where it was lost. (v. 8)
God sees you as valuable, so He will turn on every light, and sweep aisle by aisle until He finds you.
3) This heart searches diligently for what was lost. (v. 8)
This heart is not satisfied with simply having you in close proximity. It is only satisfied when you become part of the family.
The heart of a covenant keeper says, “I don’t care how much you’ve been crushed. I don’t care that life circumstances have torn you to pieces. I don’t care what dirt has gotten on you. I still want you. Because you’re still valuable.”
Don’t be mistaken. The lost don’t always look lost. Many times they are made up nicely. They smell good. They dress well. But if we spent time with them, we would see a beauty in the garments, but an emptiness in their eyes.
“The lost don’t always look lost…but if we spent time with them, we would see a beauty in the garments, but an emptiness in their eyes.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
What a privilege it would be to lead them to the one who could clean them up, straighten them out, and put them back together again.
This is our prayer: God give me the heart of a shepherd and give me the heart of a covenant keeper.