Hitting the Mark
Compassion for Lost and Broken – Part 4
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:1-13
Key Verse: Luke 15:10
In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
We ended yesterday’s devotional with the religious leaders of Jesus’ day objecting to compassion for the lost and the broken. When they confronted Jesus with their objections, Jesus told three short stories to make very clear how God feels about the lost and the broken. The clear implication was, and is, if anyone is going to follow Jesus, they must share this same value for all people.
The first story was about a man who had 100 sheep. Sheep in their culture would equal a deposit in the bank in our world. The person, in that day, that had a lot of sheep was wealthy. This man in Jesus’ story had 100 and thus was wealthy. But then one of the sheep wandered off and got lost. Would a shepherd not care about that lost sheep; would we not care about a lost deposit that should have gone into our bank account? It was an obvious conclusion; the shepherd would go after the one lost sheep. After he finds the lost sheep, wouldn’t he carry the sheep home on his shoulders and joyfully announce to the others that he had found the sheep that was lost? Why the joy? The man knew the value of the sheep, every single sheep mattered! So that the religious leaders didn’t miss His point, Jesus told them the moral of the story: “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” (Luke 15:7). In other words, these tax collectors and notorious sinners had strayed away from God, but not from His love for them! Jesus challenged these religious leaders to care about those who are lost. Let’s be like the shepherd who valued every single sheep!
Father, help me value people like you do. In Jesus’ Name, amen.