The parables of the lost part 2

March 20th, 2009

Several weeks ago I shared on three stories that Jesus told from Luke chapter 15 that are sometimes known as the parables of the lost. In these parables we see how much lost people matter to God and how He longs to welcome people back to intimate relationship with Himself.

While Jesus shared these to show how much God loves people and wants to be in relationship with Him, He had another reason for sharing these stories. We get a glimpse of why when we read the opening verses of Luke 15. Verses 1 and 2 says…

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

In this we see that Jesus told the stories to teach the tax collectors and other “sinners” about God’s love, but He also told them so the Pharisees could hear them too.

The Pharisees were a group of very religious people who were concerned with living right before God and following God’s law to the Nth degree. They were very careful to be ritually pure and did whatever they could to remain so. This included separating themselves from people who did follow their very strict and obsessive practices.

While Jesus told these three stories to show God’s love for all, He was also trying to get the message through to the Pharisees that while be right with God was important, it should never our sole focus and separating ourselves from others who might make us “unclean” should never take place.

As it was with the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, Christians today need to make sure we don’t separate ourselves from others, so we remain “ritually pure”. We need to be like the shepherd and leave the flock to venture out into the fields to bring back the lost sheep. Yes we might get “dirty” at times, but that’s part of the call of being a shepherd.

God Bless,

Dave 🙂