Three parables Jesus taught about lost and found are recorded in Luke 15. They include a lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son. Here are lessons they teach us.
Three parables Jesus taught about lost and found includes a lost sheep
Sheep have no natural protection from predators and rely completely on the care and protection of shepherds. They know their shepherd and recognize his voice, but graze with head down following one clump of grass to the next. So it’s easy for them to wander slowly away from the flock and become lost.
We have a similar problem. We mean to follow Jesus who is our good shepherd. But don’t consistently listen to his voice and wander away from his loving care pursuing one tempting morsel after another.
And what does the shepherd in the parable do when he realizes a sheep is missing? He leaves the whole flock to rescue the one.
It demonstrates the depth of God’s love for of us. When we wander off, he immediately sets out to bring each one back.
A story Jesus taught is about a lost coin
A coin, however, is an inanimate object. It lacks self-awareness, doesn’t know if it’s lost or found, or care either way. But the woman in the story cared a great deal. She made it a priority to search and was thrilled when she found it.
Likewise, many people today have no idea they are spiritually lost. Or understand what it means. They don’t attend church, read the Bible, or follow any religion. They may have a vague and perhaps unsettling sense that something is not right. And occasionally reflect on life’s ultimate meaning. but don’t dwell on it and quickly move on to other matters.
But our awareness or lack of awareness doesn’t matter. Lostness is a human condition because of sin. And God is on a search and rescue mission for our souls.
The question is…do you want God to find you?
Jesus told a story about a lost son
This parable differs from the other two because it involves an existing relationship between father and son. And the son doesn’t just wander off. He leaves in complete awareness and open rebellion towards the father. Rather than protest, the father gives the son what he wants and lets him go.
And the father does not search for the son. Why? Because the son willingly chose to leave and had to willingly return.
The parable demonstrates the allure but unsatisfying nature of sensual pleasure. The son discovered this when he ran out of money and ended up living in squalor And when he finally reached rock bottom, he returned to his father in humility, acknowledging his sin, and seeking forgiveness.
And the father, who waited patiently, ran to meet his son and celebrated his return. The story illustrates God’s desire for a relationship with each one of us. But he lets us choose. And he celebrates it when we choose him.
So what’s your story? Are you the coin, the sheep, or the son? The good news is that it doesn’t matter. God is looking for you. Waiting for you. And anxious to celebrate your return. But it’s your choice and the next step is up to you.