What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? – Luke 15:4
Scripture reading: Luke 15:1-10
Have you ever lost a tooth? Your tongue keeps going to the empty space in your mouth. You sense something is missing, even when you are not thinking about it. Jesus intends for us to feel that way about the parable we just studied. We are supposed to sense that someone is missing.
We find out who is missing when we compare the third parable with the first two. In the first parable, a sheep wanders away. The shepherd goes out to find it (Luke 15:3-7). In the second parable, a precious coin rolls away. Its owner turns the house upside down to find it (Luke 15:8-10). Now it dawns on us who is missing in the third parable. When Little Brother wanders away and gets lost, no one pursues him. No one heads out to bring him home.
That was Big Brother’s job. But, as we discovered in the story, Big Brother did not share his father’s heart for Little Brother. He did not go out to find him and bring him home. Instead, the father had to seek out Big Brother as well as Little Brother! (Luke 15:28b).
The Pharisees and scribes were the big brothers to whom Jesus told these stories. They were to seek out tax collectors and sinners and lead them home into covenant fellowship with God. Instead, they needed their Father to seek them out!
Thank God there is another Brother Who seeks and saves the lost. He is the one telling the stories.
Suggestions for prayer
Thank God for pursuing you to redeem you from sin and death. Ask God to fill you with the love, conviction and courage that will send you out to pursue a lost person in your life.
Rev. Richard Zekveld is the pastor of the Covenant Fellowship Church (PCA) in South Holland, Illinois, a Chicagoland suburb. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.