Luke Bible Study: The Three Levels of Getting Lost

Luke Bible Study: The Three Levels of Getting Lost

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 publicans 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.

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, they were suggesting that there was something 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.

Therefore, even if you are being criticized, continue doing what God has called you to do. For example, if you are being criticized because of the type of music God has called you to produce, continue producing it. To help you work through the criticism, ask yourself this question, "Who do I want to pat me on the back and say, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant' (Matthew 25:23) God or the critics?"

So choose today who you will serve for You cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) Choose whether you will serve God or you will serve money, critics, and public ratings.

By continuing to serve God by 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. 

Jesus chose the sheep I presume to signify innocence. This represents 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 or 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 and get into right standing with God regardless of how they landed into sin’s claws.

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 because they have no one to help them or they can’t get a job or Mr. Pimp offers 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 life is very hard because the sun isn't shining, the moon and stars are on holiday and the electricity has been cut off. 

If it had been during the day when their circumstances were better or if 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 and not chosen to sin. 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 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 and diligently sought the coin until she found it.

Perfect modern day scenarios are those real stories you hear where a preacher or a believer gets trapped in a lift for an hour because for some reason it can’t be fixed and they end up talking to a stranger person in that lift who was on the way to commit suicide or to commit a felony and they end up giving their life to Jesus as a result of that "chance" encounter.

Another example is a preacher or believer whose pristine car breaks down for no apparent reason and they end up helping a stranger with a medical condition. The perfect stranger who ends up inviting the believer to their home to call for help. Once in the stranger's house, the believer begins talking to the stranger's relatives and ends up leading a “hardcore” (who was “hardcore” because of all the terrible blows life had dealt him, ) relative to salvation.

This "hardcore" relative would never have let a preacher into their house but after he was told how they helped his relative with a medical condition, they are willing to listen to them.

Therefore we can see the great lengths that went into the setup. From the breaking down of a  new car to the unavailable rescue service to meeting a stranger with a medical condition, he could assist so that the “hardcore” relative, 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 “hardcore” person has to repent.

The Third Level of Getting Lost

11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
This son got lost because of his own choices for he gathered his belongings and left his father's house. It was his willful decision because his father did not chase him away. In addition, he got lost even more by being involved in riotous living.

The difference between this third level of getting lost and the others is that the person chooses to get lost because the son willfully chose to leave the protection of his father's house and get involved in a wild lifestyle

In the first level of getting lost, an innocent sheep just gets lost possibly by wandering away because the Bible tells us that it was the man who lost it. 
The second level of getting lost was a coin getting lost in the night because of harsh life circumstances. In this case, this son had it easy because his father gave him the money he requested and then he went and wasted it. Therefore, he did not get lost because of harsh circumstances - he was the one who created them for himself by his choices. 
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
If you are in this third category of getting lost, understand that since you are the one who made the decisions to leave your father's house and to be involved in a wild lifestyle, you are the one who will have to make the decision to correct yourself, change your lifestyle and return to your Heavenly Father's house.  
Do not expect anyone to go out looking for you or someone to spend money looking for you though God can do whatever He likes and send people to you. 
However, the point is that you have to pick yourself up from where you dropped yourself and return to your Heavenly Father's house.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
Going back to your Heavenly Father is simple because all you have to do is pray and ask Him to forgive you for your sins and then say with your mouth that "Jesus is Lord" as you believe in your heart that God raised Him  from the dead when He died for our sins and you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
When you return to your heavenly Father know that there are some people who will not be happy to see you getting your life together and going back to Church. If these people complain about you, ignore them and let your Father in Heaven deal with them.  
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

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