One Sinner

When a lost sheep or a lost coin are found, there is joy. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

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One Sinner

Luke 15:1-10

  • There is wonderful summary statement at the end of today’s passage
  • It says “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents…”
  • The ten verses we will read and discuss today highlight this point
  • God is in the business of saving sinners
  • And when one sinner (any sinner) comes to know Jesus, it is a joyous occasion
  • God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”
  • He would “have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”
  • Our passage of the day reveals this to be the case in a very vivid way
  • “One Sinner” is our theme today from Luke 15:1-10
  • We’ve already mentioned the word “repentance” today
  • And we’ll read it again at the end of today’s text
  • The word means “a change of mind,” “especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds”
  • We’re talking about a person who is walking their own path, but turns around, walking in exactly the opposite direction
  • It is to turn from sin and to turn to Christ
  • We can see why this has relevance from the very beginning of the chapter…

Luke 15:1

1  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 

  • The first group of people it says Jesus spoke with were “publicans”
  • These are tax collectors, those who collect taxes or tolls
  • One concordance reads, these “tax collectors were as a class, detested not only by the Jews, but by other nations also, both on account of their employment and of the harshness, greed, and deception, with which they did their job”
  • They were considered to be dishonest and disreputable
  • Much evidence, both from scripture and elsewhere, would have reinforced this idea
  • The second group Jesus spoke with were “sinners”
  • This is a general term for “all wicked men”
  • The term spoke “specifically of men stained with certain definite vices or crimes “
  • They could have been tax collectors, definitely were heathens
  • They would be described as people “devoted to sin”
  • Certainly, these were people walking their own way
  • They were on the “broad road,” which scripture describes
  • That road leads to destruction
  • But the people on that road, these included, realize not their destination
  • Their choices please the flesh and seem right in their own estimation
  • But the Bible calls them – and us before knowing Christ – lost
  • There is another audience that observes the scene…

Luke 15:2

2  And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

  • These religious Jews, experts in the law and their own traditions, seem always to observe
  • They look for ways to accuse Jesus
  • And they have disdain for those with whom He speaks
  • Rarely stopping to consider their own wickedness of heart
  • For despite their reputations for piety, they are merely sinners like those they accuse
  • Because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
  • And “there is none that doeth good, no, not one”
  • This is when Jesus begins to speak…

Luke 15:3

3  And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 

  • A parable is a story set on earth, but communicating a heavenly principle
  • It is meant to teach us something spiritual
  • But it does so in a way that is relatable, practical, common
  • You’ll see what we mean here…

Luke 15:4

4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 

  • This is a pretty simple question
  • It is perhaps one that made even more sense to Jesus’ audience
  • But it makes sense to us as well
  • We can see the logic in leaving the ninety nine
  • If one sheep is lost, we must find that sheep
  • Our primary concern, at this moment, is not those sheep that are safe and sound
  • But the sheep that could be anywhere
  • Lost, in danger, unprotected, with no shepherd, with no guide, alone
  • That kind of sheep has no hope in the wilderness but one, that is His shepherd
  • Which must leave the others to find him
  • How many of us would argue that this is the right course of action?
  • Jesus asks this audience – and He asks us
  • Something else is quite logical…

Luke 15:5-6

5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 

6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 

  • No doubt this shepherd would have feared the worst
  • Any sheep separated from His shepherd faces certain death
  • Sheep need a shepherd
  • So, when the shepherd finds this lost sheep, He rejoices
  • He carries the sheep on His own shoulders
  • That sheep is no doubt weary from his fear and wandering
  • And he is in total reliance upon the strength of his rescuer
  • The shepherd calls His friends and neighbors
  • He expects them, rightly, to rejoice with Him
  • For they understand not only the danger that was avoided for the sheep
  • But the joy of the shepherd
  • Who cares for the sheep
  • Who left all ninety nine others to seek this one…

Luke 15:7

7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

  • Do you remember the description of Jesus’ audience?
  • Publicans, sinners, Pharisees, scribes
  • The first two knew the depth of their sin
  • The second two denied it
  • Everyone was in need of rescue
  • God “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance”
  • When one turns from their sin and turns to Christ
  • There is rejoicing in heaven
  • Seen in another way…

Luke 15:8-9

8  Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 

9  And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 

  • This piece of silver is valuable
  • As the sheep was valuable
  • And a diligent search is begun
  • The intention is always to recover this valuable item
  • And finding it is cause for rejoicing
  • That rejoicing extends beyond the woman of the house
  • To friends and neighbors that care for her
  • The rejoicing is over the recovery of this silver
  • We have no difficulty understanding the reason for the search
  • Or the reason for the rejoicing in a successful search
  • If we have a good enough imagination, we can probably picture how they felt to the woman
  • We should also relate to the next verse, if we know Christ as Savior…

Luke 15:10

10  Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. 

  • Lost sinners, when they are found by Christ, are cause for celebration
  • As the angels gather to celebrate
  • Separated from God because of our sin
  • Travelling our own path – away from God
  • Then God intervenes
  • Shows us the error of our ways
  • Shows us the futility of any attempts to save ourselves
  • And explains, via His word, the wonderful sacrifice of Jesus
  • That He makes it possible, through that sacrifice, for us to be saved
  • To be found
  • To be rescued from certain death
  • This is cause for our own rejoicing
  • But it is cause for rejoicing in heaven too
  • And on earth, among those who have already been found by Him
  • There is little more exciting on this earth or in heaven
  • Than this lost sheep being found

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