Here Luke gives us three parables that help us to understand how much God values the lost, but we are only looking at the first two today. How far do we stretch the illustration? If the coin and the sheep were already owned, then are we talking about someone who has wandered away from God and needs to have their relationship restored? Or is it someone who has never had a relationship with God to begin with? I believe that in the first two parables it makes the most sense to see the lost sheep and the lost coin as representations of those who don’t have a relationship at all, although it certainly could represent any who are out of fellowship with God.
There are multiple ways to look at the rejoicing too. Does it mean that God doesn’t rejoice over those who know and love Him? Of course not! But it could certainly indicate that there is something very special about coming into the kingdom, and that initial belief brings even greater joy! Another possibility is that this is a jab at the Pharisees who were criticizing Jesus for eating with sinners. They are the 99 “righteous” who don’t see a need to repent!
Do you understand how much God loves you? Both to offer salvation and to keep you for eternity?
John 3:16 “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Ephesians 2:4-5 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even though we were dead in offenses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you are saved!”
1 John 3:1 “See what sort of love the Father has given to us: that we should be called God’s children—and indeed we are! For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know him.”
Psalm 36:5 “O LORD, your loyal love reaches to the sky, your faithfulness to the clouds.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The LORD’s loyal kindness never ceases; his compassions never end. They are fresh every morning; your faithfulness is abundant!”
Romans 8:38-39 “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”