Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LV: Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Relentless Pursuit Of Humanly Hopeless Sinners
(Luke 15:1-32)
  1. Introduction
    1. If a perfectly holy, infinitely loving God sent His Son into the world to save sinners, that Son should reflect that holiness and infinite love of God in His concern for the repentance of sinners.
    2. This is precisely what Jesus did in Luke 15:1-32, and we view this passage for appropriate applications:
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior By His Relentless Pursuit Of Humanly Hopeless Sinners.
    1. The three parables in Luke 15:1-32 all deal with entities that a party possesses, loses, and then finds. They are the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 244.
    2. Some hold these parables teach of a believer's loss and then restoration to fellowship with God while others think they teach the salvation of the lost. In reality, neither application can consistently stand:
      1. On the one hand, Luke 15:24 presents the father saying of his returned prodigal, "For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found . . .", words that can describe the lost coming to God!
      2. Conversely, Luke 15:21 has the returning prodigal telling his father, "I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son," words of one who is already his father's son!
    3. Thus, these parables must teach only what is suggested by the CONTEXT, nothing more (as follows):
      1. According to Luke 15:1-3, Jesus told these parables following a complaint by the Pharisees and scribes that He received sinners, and that He ate with them, signifying fellowship with them.
      2. Jesus did not deny that these people had been sinners, but He needed to explain that these folk had drawn near to hear His teaching (Luke 15:1) because they had truly repented of their sin.
    4. Thus, we view the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son for fitting applications:
      1. The parable of the Lost Sheep reveals that there is much rejoicing in heaven over just one sinner who repents, and it critiques the Pharisees and scribes who saw groups of repentant sinners crowd around Jesus only to complain about it, Luke 15:3-7 with Luke 15:1-2.
      2. The parable of the Lost Coin teaches that heaven's angels rejoice when a sinner repents following God's thorough work to search for him and to acquire his repentance, Luke 15:8-10; Ibid. This thorough search is motivated by God's great value of the sinner, that value being represented in the drachma, the coin in the parable the woman sought, a coin worth to a day's pay, Ibid.!
      3. The parable of the Lost Son contrasts the valuable son that was lost and then found, and the way the son who never was lost failed to appreciate the restitution of the prodigal, and it applies these concepts to Jesus' repentant followers, to Himself and to His critics (as follows), Luke 15:11-32:
        1. In Luke 15:11-20a, the prodigal son begins as a terrible, self-serving sinner, one who demands his inheritance from his father before it is normally given (Ibid., p. 245) and then wastes it in godless living only to come to his senses and repent and return to his father to request his mercy. This prodigal son who repents pictures the former destitute sinners who were truly repenting of their sin.
        2. Luke 15:20b-24 tells of the father's loving, gracious response to his repentant prodigal, the response representing Jesus' gracious attitude toward repentant sinners.
        3. In Luke 15:25-30, the elder son, representative of the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes back in Luke 15:1-2, complains about his father's acceptance of his repentant brother due to his lack of value for his repentant brother. The father's rebuke of this lovelessness in Luke 15:31-32 is Jesus' application to His Pharisee and scribe critics who complained that Jesus accepted sinners!
Lesson: Jesus's parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Son reveal the great value God places on the individual sinner that leads to His intense work to get him to repent in some way, and of God's great joy at the sinner's repentance. They also teach our need to adopt God's view of this work!

Application: (1) May we thus believe that Jesus is truly a holy and infinitely loving God's Son. (2) May we adopt God's high value of sinful folk and earnestly seek their repentance and rejoice at God's great grace when they do repent! (3) May we not be heartless toward the sinner as were the religious leaders!