Lost Ones

Text: Luke 19:10

When Jesus met Zaccheus, He said He mission was to seek and save the lost. In Luke 15, He told three parables that related to this mission. The overall point was the same, but He used three different parables to make it. Why? Each one provides unique insight into the condition of the lost and the reason why Jesus came to save. This lesson will consider each of these parables.

The Lost Sheep (Luke 15:3-7)

  • Not the first time the illustration of lost sheep has been used in the Bible (Isaiah 53:6) – because of our sin, Jesus came to be a sacrifice for us (Matthew 20:28)
  • Sheep are to follow the shepherd (John 10:27) – we have an obligation to obey the Lord
  • Lost sheep will wander aimlessly (Matthew 9:36) – we have no direction without the Lord (Jeremiah 10:23)
  • Lost sheep are in danger without the shepherd’s protection – salvation is only in Christ (John 10:28-29)

The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10)

  • When we lost something of value, we search to find it – Jesus used an illustration that everyone recognizes as being valuable (a silver coin)
  • Coins are valuable – reminds us that each one is valuable (Genesis 1:27); if you are lost, the Lord wants to save you because you are valuable to Him (1 Peter 1:18-19)
  • Lost coins can be anywhere – due to their small size, a lost coin could be in any part of the house; the Lord seeks the lost from anywhere (Mark 16:15; Colossians 3:11)

The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-24)

  • This parable may be the easiest for us to relate to since it involves human/family relationships
  • Lost sons do not appreciate their inheritance (v. 13) – we have an even greater inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)
  • Lost sons must return (Acts 3:19) – after a change of heart (v. 17-18; Hebrews 6:4-6)
  • Lost sons will be welcomed back by their father – God is always willing to welcome us back (2 Peter 3:9), until the end (2 Peter 3:10)

Attitudes Toward the Lost (Luke 15:25-32)

  • In each parable, finding the lost was a cause to rejoice (v. 6-7, 9-10, 22-24) – this should be our attitude when one who is lost comes to the Lord
  • But in the last parable, the brother of the prodigal son did not rejoice – he was jealous
  • He was not “lost” (that is, he did not see himself as such) – but he still needed to repent (cf. Luke 15:7)

When you subscribe, you’ll also receive 3 free PDF’s: Plain Bible Teaching on Blessings, the latest issue of Plain Bible Teaching Quarterly Review, and Social Issues.