The Three Levels of Getting Lost is a Luke Bible Study of Luke 15:1-32
LUKE 15:1Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
We can learn something from the tax collectors and the sinners because they drew near to Jesus for we are told to Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:8)
LUKE 15:2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
The devil will always ensure that some people somewhere will begin criticizing and complaining when you set out to do what God has called you to do.
And note that in Jesus’ situation it was the Pharisees and the scribes, the religious authority of that time who were criticizing Him and by doing so, even if it was by murmuring, they were suggesting that there really was something very wrong with Jesus and with His ministry.
And what did Jesus do?
LUKE 15:3And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
Jesus continued doing what He had been called by God to do. He did not enter into a direct confrontation with the Pharisees and start defending Himself, trying to explain to them how God wanted Him to reach out to the tax collectors and the prostitutes. He just continued teaching because sometimes those long explanations to people who will never like you or approve of you are a waste of time.
Jesus continued doing what He had been called to do and we can see that by continuing to teach He answered their murmurings.
So, continue doing what God has called you to do through the criticism.
If they are criticizing the type of music God has called you to produce, continue producing it for after all who do you want to pat you on the back and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:23) God or your critics?
So choose today who you will serve for You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) whether it is God vs. money/critics/public ratings.
Through His teaching, Jesus indirectly explained why He was always been spotted with the “lost” and even dining with them. In addition He also taught the great lesson on the Three Levels of Getting Lost.
The First Level of Getting Lost
4What 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?
The 1st level was this one with this one sheep. He chose the sheep I presume to signify innocence. Like people who will fall into sin “innocently”. Examples which come to mind include teenagers who are lured into crime or sexual immorality by older peers and relatives as they just did not know what they were getting in to.
Now with this group, God will set the machinations in motion for someone whether it is a preacher, teacher, social worker, neighbor, grandparent, bus driver, supermarket teller who will at each available opportunity show concern for this young lost soul in an attempt to gain their trust so that they can have an opportunity to speak to them fully about Jesus and a new way of life.
5And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6And 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.
7I 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.
Note also that this “innocent sinner” still has to repent and get saved regardless of how they landed into sin’s claws and get into right standing with God.
The Second Level of Getting Lost
8Either 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?
The second type of getting lost is those who get lost in the night, when times are tough. Perfect examples are single mothers who turn to prostitution to buy food for their babies. Times are tough, there is no one to help, they can’t get a job and here is Mr. Pimp offering her the first full meal she has eaten in three months.
This is not to justify prostitution or any other ills of society but it is to make a point that some people get lost at midnight when the sun doesn't shine, the moon and stars are on holiday and the electricity has been cut off.
If it had been during the day, or someone had given them half a candle, maybe they would have seen a way out of their predicament and maybe they would have made a better choice. But it wasn't.
With this second group, we can see that God goes all out leaving no stone unturned and no expense spared to find them and bring them back home. For we can see that though the woman had lost just 10% of the money she had, she lit a candle (incurred extra expenses) to look for this one coin.
This woman also began sweeping at night. Houses are not usually swept at night but she exerted herself in diligently seeking this coin until she found it.
Perfect modern day scenarios are those real stories you hear where a preacher gets trapped in a lift for an hour because for some reason it can’t be fixed and he ends up talking to a random person in that lift who was on the way to commit suicide or to commit a felony and they end up giving up their life to Jesus as a result of that "chance" encounter.
Another example is a preacher whose pristine car broke down for no apparent reason and he helped a perfect stranger with a medical condition and ended up ridding home with him only to be invited to the stranger’s house and lead one of his “hardcore” relatives to Christ.
This relative would never have let this preacher or any other preacher into his house but he let him in after he was told how selflessly helpful he had been. He was probably also awed by the fact that this great man of God who he saw on TV when quickly flipping through the channels was actually standing in his living room.
Therefore we can see the great lengths that went in the setup. From the breaking down of a brand new car to the unavailable rescue service to meeting a stranger with a medical condition he could assist with just so that the “hardcore” relative, who was “hardcore”” because of all the terrible blows life had dealt him, would have an opportunity to learn about the love of Jesus and accept Him into His life.
9And 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.
10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
And note that regardless of the mitigating circumstances, even this person has to repent.
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