Sometimes you want someone in your life to understand something so badly that you think of several different ways to tell them. Marketing experts say a message has to be repeated a number of times (and in different ways) before a potential customer becomes an actual customer.
In Luke 15, we see this principle play out. Luke has grouped three of Jesus’s parables, and all of them have a similar message. It’s Luke’s way of saying, “Hey, I’ve carefully investigated and documented what I think people need to know about Jesus. And there’s one topic in particular I need to camp on because it’s so important.”
The three parables are about a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. At the end of each parable, Jesus gives the bottom line. Listen to how similar the main points are:
- At the end of the lost sheep parable, Jesus said, “There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”
- At the end of the lost coin parable: “There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
- And, finally, at the end of the lost son parable: “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
All three parables are about something that was gone—lost. But then it was found. A relationship was restored.
A couple of things stand out. The main takeaway regarding these parables is that God is in the restoration business. He longs for people to come to him.
But notice something else. In all three parables, there’s a celebration. It’s one thing for people to come to God, or come back to God… but when that happens, it’s cause for pause. When someone who was far from God is brought near to him because of the work of Jesus, it calls for celebration!
May we never get tired of God’s work of restoration. Anytime someone begins (or resumes) their walk with God, it’s nothing short of miraculous, and it’s a sign to us that God is still very much at work.
That’s it for this time. Read Chapters 17 and 18 to get ready for the next one.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, thank you for making it possible for me to come to you and call you Father. When I see someone begin to walk with you, help me mark those moments to remember you are still at work. Amen.”