Peachland United Church
Join us for Sunday Worship at 10:00 am.
4421 – 4th Street, Peachland
Fellowship follows in the Hall.
The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin
The 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel has been called “the gospel in the gospel,” as if it contained the very distilled essence of the good news which Jesus came to tell.
The setting for the parables depict outcasts of first-century Palestinian society coming to Jesus on route to Jerusalem. The Scribes and Pharisees grumbled at his consorting with tax-collectors and sinners.
So Jesus told them a series of parables, two of which we will look at. The parables were offered as a defense of Jesus’ own conduct. The point of the parables is not only the shepherd’s and the woman’s gracious willingness and initiative to seek out the lost, but also to celebrate the finding with joy. It symbolizes God’s mercy and gracious initiative manifest in the ministry of Jesus to “sinners” – who are the “lost”. The parables expresses what Luke’s Jesus will say of himself, “the Son of Man has come to seek out and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10) The parables are not descriptions of the change in situations of first-century Palestinians, but rather of the joy (of God) at the finding of a “lost” sinner.
No Pharisee had ever dreamed of a God like the one described in the two parables.
A great Jewish scholar has admitted that this is the one absolutely new thing which Jesus taught us about God – that God actually searched for us.
These parables which we review make a major contribution to Luke’s theme of God’s love and mercy for sinful human beings and of Jesus’ call for repentance and conversion. This is Jesus’ answer to why he consorts and dines with such sinful people.