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  • Revd Peter Breckwoldt

Parables of Lostness

Reflections on Luke 15 - PART 1



How many of us are constantly losing or misplacing things? You never notice that something is not lost until you need it and it’s always in the last place you look! Have you ever noticed the intensity with which you will search for an inanimate object when you need it? Your wallet, your phone, your keys, a document, an address, a pair of socks or earrings. When you need it, you need it now and if time is running out, finding that thing is the highest priority in your life at that moment.


Believe it or not, God knows what all of this feels like on a much grander scale. God is searching for something—but not because he can’t remember where he left it. He knows where it is. He’s searching for you. But the only way that He can find you and bring you home is for you to recognize that you need to be found, that you are lost and need direction.


In Luke 15 we see a series of three parables in response to the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus received unbelieving sinners and even ate with them. Evidently, His love and vulnerability attracted lost people from all classes and lifestyles. These were people who had no regard for the Torah or for religious traditions. Jesus had made it clear that He came to save people like this, not self-righteous people (Luke 5:27-32; 14:21-24). Seeing the many needy people around Him who were lost and recognizing the criticism coming from the religious establishment who were also lost, Jesus told three “Parables of Lostness.” He talked about lost sheep who needed a shepherd; about a lost coin that had value and needed to be put into circulation; about lost sons who needed to be in fellowship with the Father. There are three very revealing movements in this little story that packs a big punch. We will explore 2 of them in this first part and the last one will be explored in the next instalment.

1. We get Lost (v8)