Sin is a problem that every man and woman on the face of the earth has to face.
It must either be faced now or in eternity, but it will be faced.
Sin is important to face because:
We all have it - Romans 3:10, 23.
It causes spiritual death - Romans 6:23; Isaiah 59:1-2.
It enslaves - John 8:31-34.
Many people think of sin as something that only the most "vile" people have to deal with.
In the context of this chapter, Jesus deals with four different kinds of sinners.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that He is speaking basically to religious people.
We most often look at this passage as three separate parables. (1) The lost sheep,
(2) The lost coin, and (3) The prodigal son. The question is, "Are these really three
different parables or one divided into four views?" I accept the latter.
See V.3 - Parable, V.8 - "Or" and V.11 - Jesus continued.
THE PROBLEM: The religious people were so busy judging the lives of others that they
could not see the truth of who the real sinners were - (Luke 15:1-2).
THE SETTING: It is meal time and Jesus is eating, probably with a group of "undesirables"
in someone's home. The audience, onlookers from the outside, were making judgments about
Jesus and the company He was keeping. Jesus, more or less, teaches this lesson for the
benefit of those looking on.
In this lesson, let's look at Luke 15:3-32 and see what Jesus had to say concerning the
religiously sinful and how He depicted their situations.
THE LOST SHEEP - A Sinner That Knows He Is Lost But Doesn't Know The Way Home - V. 3-7.
Men are often lost like sheep. This sheep did not know how to return to the shepherd.
He has no sense of direction.
The shepherd was the one who knew.
The shepherd was the one who brought the sheep to that knowledge.
Isaiah 53:6 - "We all like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
Jesus seeks out the lost. As ambassadors of Christ we must reach out to the lost to
help them know their condition.
It is our responsibility to show them the way home.
Men and women stray into a world of sin. It becomes their nature, because of practice,
to sin. We have a sinful nature.
See Ephesians 2:1-3.
THE LOST COIN - A Sinner That Is Lost But Doesn't Know It - V. 8-10.
The coin was lost but had no ability to recognize it.
The owner did the searching. This is exactly what Jesus was doing at the table with
these "sinners" in V. 1-2.
Some people are lost in their own religion and don't even know it.
The crowd of religious people around Jesus felt secure and safe, but they were further
from the kingdom than those with whom Jesus was eating.
You never look for something until you realize it is lost.
THE LOST SON - The sinner Who Knew He Was Lost And Realized The Way Home. - V. 11-24.
The points concerning the lost son and the older brother are actually applications of the
first two sinners.
This man chose to leave his father.
He was searching for more than he had.
He chose to taste the world and its ways.
This man was the better of the sinners because he knew that he was lost and desired to
He knew the father.
He knew that his father would take him back.
He was willing to look at HIMSELF instead of those around him and deal with his
relationship with his father.
THE OLDER BROTHER - A Sinner Lost In His Own Self-righteousness - V. 25-31.
This man was the "face in the mirror" that Jesus was trying to get all of the judges
around Him to see.
He was lost in:
His selfish greed.
His material possessions - he was more concerned with the fatted calf than with
his own brother.
His hateful attitude of one being forgiven.
Are you like one of these?
Have you been lost in your own religion?
When was the last time you took a long, hard look at yourself?