SELAH Daily Devotions!
And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Luke 15:20-24
The Gospels record 35 times that Jesus uses parables as a teaching aid. Literally, a parable is a story “cast alongside” a truth in order to illustrate that truth. In today’s vernacular a parable is as an inspired comparisons, or simply put an earthly story with a heavenly meaning!
Unlike like so many 21st Century preachers, Jesus wasn’t just trying to spice up the message to keep the crowds entertained. His parables had a two-fold purpose. First, to reveal the truth to those who wanted to know it and to conceal the truth from those who were indifferent! You see, Jesus already knew that everybody who followed Him didn’t do so for the same reason. People are still people, huh?
You do know that everybody who comes into the church building doesn’t come looking to know Jesus, right? Some come just for a ‘kidz-size happy meal and a prize’! While others, like the Pharisee and the scribes, only come to pick up a few stones to throw at Jesus. Notice how they accused Jesus, “Look at Him, This man receives sinners and eats with them.” Spiritually blinded by their preconceived biases, Jesus already knew that they would dismiss His parables as irrelevant nonsense. Yet, there were also a few sincere seekers of Truth who would eventually receive insight and reap the benefit and comfort of His Words!
Anything that you respect and honor you will pursue! Perhaps, that’s why the Pharisees could not understand why Jesus cared about ‘tax collectors and sinners’. Yall know how you go off when you can’t find your keys or the remote control. You put out an all-points-bulletin and nobody in the house can get any relief until it’s found! When you really desire something with all of your heart, mind, spirit and soul, whatever it takes to get it, is worth it all!
The text says that The Shepherd is so excited that He’s found the sheep that He throws a party to celebrate the safe return and everyone around Him is rejoicing with Him! (Ref. Luke 15:6-7) Imagine that! I know we don’t get excited when folk get saved anymore, huh? But that’s exactly what happened back-n-da-day!
The next story is about a woman who loses a coin and refusing to give up, she searches until nightfall. Desperately she’s turning every piece of furniture upside-down, looking between the cushions on the sofa, behind the refrigerator, until she found it. You can imagine the joy and the relief she experience when she found it! (Ref. Luke 15:8-9)
This chapter ends with a the more familiar parable of the Prodigal Son! Sometimes we can get so caught up in the drama of the son’s partaayin so hard until he ended up in the pigs pen, that we miss the intensity of The Father’s Love and Compassion for his lost child. This is a picture of The Heavenly Father’s response to those who have yet to accept the glorious gift of Salvation purchased by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ! This is why God pursues sinners and why everyone of us should rejoice when a repented sinner returns to the sheepfold.
Recovering a lost sinner requires effort and patience! However, often times we develop an acute case of selective spiritual amnesia and forget what it took for us to get our testimony, huh? Do you know that most sinners have no idea that God is looking for them and even fewer believe that He loves them? When you look at what Jesus gave up to save us, how should those of us, who call ourselves His disciples, be any less engaged in searching for the poor souls who have yet to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord! #ijs! No, it’s not always easy but gratefully JESUS believed the reward well worth the effort!
Shamefully, too many Believers still think that soul winning is the Pastors and Evangelist job! But that’s not what The Bible says! ‘And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation’ 2 Cor. 5:18
Jus wondering, what are you doing to bring the lost to Jesus? Are you content to enjoy the privileges of being saved? Is your heart burdened for those who are still lost? Are you willing to get up off the padded pew of do nothing and go into the field and hunt for those who are still outside of the house? (Ref. Matthew 9:37) If Jesus still associates with sinners, why don’t you? WOW! LOST & FOUND!
Pause, Ponder, Pray & Praiz!