A Lost Sheep and a Lost Coin
Many tax collectors and “sinners” came to listen to Jesus.
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to complain: “Look! This man welcomes sinners and even eats with them!”
Then Jesus told them this story:
“Suppose one of you has 100 sheep, but he loses 1 of them. Then he will leave the other 99 sheep alone and go out and look for the lost sheep. The man will keep on searching for the lost sheep until he finds it.
And when he finds it, the man is very happy. He puts it on his shoulders
and goes home. He calls to his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Be happy with me because I found my lost sheep!’
In the same way, I tell you there is much joy in heaven when 1 sinner changes his heart. There is more joy for that 1 sinner than there is for 99 good people who don’t need to change.
“Suppose a woman has ten silver coins, but she loses one of them. She will light a lamp and clean the house. She will look carefully for the coin until she finds it.
And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Be happy with me because I have found the coin that I lost!’
In the same way, there is joy before the angels of God when 1 sinner changes his heart.”
Lost Sheep and Lost Coin
When Jesus ministered on the earth, He preached about the kingdom of God through parables. This helped people remember what Jesus said to them. In Luke 15: 1-10, Jesus says two parables, both of them with the same meaning when He was questioned about His fellowship with sinners and tax collectors. These parables tell about the love of the Heavenly Father upon lost mankind which was being perished without a Savior to save it from condemnation.
In both the parables, something that is more valuable to the owner is lost. The Shepherd had ninety-nine when he lost this one sheep. But he considered this one sheep as valuable and so he went in search of it.
Similarly, the woman had nine silver coins even when she lost one coin. She was not satisfied with what she had. But she valued this coin more and wanted it back, so she was searching for it. Our loving God Jesus Christ hates sin but He loves the sinners and wants them to repent back to Him.
Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. -Matthew 18:14
Creator’s care for everyone
Tax collectors were wealthy people. They don’t lack any worldly blessings. But they need a Savior to save them from the hellfire in the eternity. Our worth and value in the society cannot buy salvation from sin and bring us to heaven.
It is very difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God as their heart will be filled with the cares of the earthly treasures (Matthew 6:21). The riches won’t take anyone to heaven. But the love of the Savior who searches carefully even for these kind of people is capable of finding them out and bring them to heaven.
The only thing they have to do is to hand over all their riches in the hands of God and ask Him to be the controller of their lives. When they do so, wealth won’t be a hurdle for their salvation. God wants every great leader of the nations, rich men of the world to be saved. He does not want a single soul to lose eternal joy.
Our God won’t judge with partiality. He loves both the rich and the poor equally. He want everyone to be part of His kingdom. Thus, He left His glory in the Heaven and came as a man to save us.
The Lost World
Because of the disobedience of the early parents -Adam and Eve, sin entered into the world. The man was made perfect in the image of God and the glory of God filled him completely. But when the man was deceived by Satan, he lost the glory of God. Man lost the fellowship with God. Before his fall, God came to meet him every evening. But now, he cannot meet God directly. Sin separated man from God.
But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” -Exodus 33:20
As the sheep which lost its path wander in the desert, man could not find a way back to his salvation. Everyone lived according to his own wish. God made covenants with mankind and gave them statutes and commandments to make them understand that they were on the wrong path.
I have written for him the great things of My law, But they were considered a strange thing. -Hosea 8:12
The direction boards could not divert the sheep from its wrong path. It went straight in the wrong direction ignoring the shepherd’s guidance. God sent his prophets to warn them to repent back to God. But the people ignored every warning from God.
Finally, the sheep fell into the thorny bushes from where it could not come out. The thorns tore its skin. It cried aloud in pain. But there was no one to deliver it out from the thorny bush. Similarly, sin brought curse to mankind. There was no Savior to save them from the pain the curse caused.
The Shepherd who searches till He finds the sheep
All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, everyone, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. -Isaiah 53:6
Even though we went far away from the Shepherd, His love for us brought Him to the world as a man to bring salvation to us. He wanted to pick us up from the thorny bush which oppressed our lives and stopped us from getting back to God. Jesus humbled Himself to death to deliver us from the bondage of sin. He took all our curse upon Himself and redeemed us.
There may be ninety-nine righteous people with Him. But He searches for the only one lost sheep because He doesn’t like even a single soul to perish without salvation. Each and every individual is unique and important before the creator. He gave His own life to save each and every individual in this world.
“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” -Luke 5:32
Sheep were normally considered to be the animals for sacrifice in Israel and they were not given any importance in society. They don’t have any option to argue for their right to live. They need to keep quiet when they are taken to be slaughtered.
This may be the situation of many people in this world. They may be slaves to other people and they might not have the right to talk for their rights. Jesus died on the cross and brought salvation for free even for the poor people and the lowest level slave in the world.
The only thing they have to do to receive salvation is to hand over their lives in the hands of Almighty God. They need to allow Him to remove all the thorns and curses from their lives. They need to surrender their lives to fulfill the will of God.
They might not have a shelter to hide in this world. But their Savior has promised to give them a mansion if they could endure till the end. He will surely get them back to their flock if they could hear His voice and obey His commandments.
The Good Shepherd
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. -John 10:27-28
The roaring Lion will not come against the sheep in the flock (1 Peter 5:8). But if a sheep come out of the flock, the lion will catch it and kill it. Similarly, when we are under the control of the great Shepherd Jesus Christ, Satan cannot come against us. But if we rebel against God, and run away from His control, Satan will catch hold of us and will destroy our fellowship with God.
Let us understand our rebellious acts against our creator and repent back to Him so that we can escape from the lion waiting to kill our soul and take it to hell. When we come under the Heavenly Shepherd’s control, He carries us in His loving arms and leads us to green pastures.
The woman who searches carefully for the coin until she finds it
The woman did not leave the lost silver coin as worthless and went for her next duty. She went in search of it with more care. She gave more importance to that coin than before. She first lights up a lamp to search for the coin. The word of God is a lamp that shows the right path in which we need to walk.
Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. -Psalms 119:105
God sends His word to a person who is lost and needs repentance. The word of God shows him the darkest parts of his life which need correction. We cannot hide anything from the sight of God. Everything is open before His eyes.
The woman then sweeps to find the coin. The spirit of God rebukes and corrects the person (John 16:8). He removes any dirt in the person to give redemption to the soul which is under the slavery of sin. When a person submits himself before the word of God, he will be saved.
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. -James 1:21
Light of the world
The word of God is capable of fulfilling the purpose for which God has sent it (Isaiah 55:11). It is the responsibility of people of God to spread the word of God to the unknown people. If we could do our duty of spreading the gospel to the world, the word of God will do its duty of bringing souls into the kingdom of God on time without fail.
We were once under the control of darkness and now we are redeemed by the love and grace of the great Shepherd. We became His children by His grace. The joy we get by the grace of God needs to be proclaimed to others who go astray from the love of God.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. -I Peter 2:9-10
We are chosen to be the holy priests for God. We are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). We need to rise and shine for the glory of God to be revealed through us. If a sinner repents back to God, there will be rejoicing in heaven among the angels.