Having a nine-year-old daughter is quite an interesting time of life. Your eyes are opened to a world that for some, didn’t even know existed. Oh, but it does. It’s a magical world filled with Fairies, Princesses, Barbies, and American Girl Dolls.
One of my favorite areas of this magical world are the Fairies. If you haven’t had the opportunity, you should sit through one of the many Disney fairy movies: “Tinker Bell,”Pirate Fairy,” and “Tinker Bell: Great Fairy Rescue” are some of my favorites. It’s amazing how many sermon illustrations you can find in one of these movies. That’s why I watch them… for sermon material… really…
In a scene where Tinker Bell meets her long lost sister Periwinkle, they discover something they have in common, collecting lost things. There’s only one difference between the two of them. Tinker Bell calls them “Lost Things,” while Periwinkle calls them “Found Things.”
According to disneyfairies.wikia.com, lost things are “human items that wash up on the shores of Never Land. Fairy Mary initially regarded lost things as worthless in the film Tinker Bell, but Tinker Bell was able to use the things she’d found to create some extremely efficient machines.”
Oh boy, I’ve gone too far…
In Luke 15 we see three stories that all have the same theme, something was lost. Key phrase, something was lost.
First things first, the Parable of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Lost Son are all parables. Parables are stories to illustrate a point, and Jesus here is trying to make a strong point. Because the Pharisees keep harping on him for, well, being Jesus, Jesus shares three powerful stories. Instead of breaking down the intention and meaning of each parable, I want to stay at a 30,000 ft. view and touch on the overall takeaway.
Basically, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees attitude about lost people. Because their system of religion was all built on laws (do this, don’t do that) they despised anyone who didn’t fit their mold. The Pharisees also despised anyone who wasn’t Jewish.
You’ve Been There
A key 30,000 ft. takeaway is to first recognize that you’ve been there. At one point or another in your story you’ve been the lost sheep, you’ve been the lost coin, and you’ve been the lost son. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been a Christian for ten years or ten minutes, you’ve been a three of these things at one point or another. Take into consideration Isaiah 53:6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all (NLT). Or Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
One of the challenges as you become more mature in your faith is to not end up like a Pharisee. I’m sure at first the Pharisees meant well and just had a lot of zeal for their beliefs, but over time they began to pervert the sacred relationship between them and God. They forgot their first love and because of it, Jesus would hold them in contempt.
Not Lost… Found!
Knowing the audience and the background of this passage, It’s apparent why Jesus would emphasize being lost. However, every part of me wants to put the emphasis on being found!
- v. 6 ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
- v. 9 ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’
- v. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
There are lots of lost sheep, coins, and sons out there, lets work together to make them found.