by Kimberly B. Southall
Have you ever lost anything? Most of us have. And how long and how hard you look for the lost item usually depends upon how important it is to you. Did you know that there are three parables in the Bible about "lost and found"? All three are stories which Jesus told to help us understand what He was teaching. You can find them in the 15th chapter of Luke.
At Luke 15:1-7, there is the parable of the lost sheep. Jesus tells how, if a shepherd has 100 sheep and loses even one, then he cares enough about that one sheep to stop what he is doing and go to search for it. Then, once he finds the sheep, he is so happy that he invites his friends over for a party. After telling this story, Jesus carefully pointed out why He told the story (see verse 7)--He was teaching that God and the angels rejoice when just one person is no longer "lost" (unsaved) but is "found" (saved). One person-you or anyone else-is important enough to God for Him to seek you. And God and the angels feel like having a party when just one person is saved! Isn't it wonderful to know that God loves each of us that much?
At Luke 15:8-10, there is the parable of the lost coin. Jesus tells about a woman who loses one of her ten silver coins. It is important enough to her that she looks everywhere, even sweeping the entire house in order to find it. And when she finally finds the coin, she is so happy about it that she, too, invites her neighbors over for a party to celebrate. Notice again that Jesus said this is like the angels in Heaven rejoicing about one person being saved (see verse 10).
At Luke 15:11-32, there is the parable of the lost son. This is the longest of the three parables. Perhaps that is because it is the closest to Jesus' real point-that He is speaking of people being lost. Jesus tells about a son who thinks he really doesn't need his father anymore. He asks for what he thinks belongs to him and leaves home for a bad life of wild living. After he wastes all of his money and is nearly starving to death, he finally decides that he will return home and ask to be one of his father's servants. He now knows that he really does need his father, after all. So, he swallows what is left of his pride and starts walking home. What he doesn't realize is that his father has been hoping and waiting for him to come back home. His father loves him and wants him back more than anything. And so, when his father sees him returning home, he runs to meet his son. He joyously welcomes him back and throws a great big party for his son. He doesn't want his son to be a servant; he still loves his son just as he always did. This is the way that God loves each one of us. He loves me that much, and He loves you that much.
So, do you know God? If you don't, you are "lost." God loves you and wants you to come to Him. He is hoping and waiting for you to come to Him just like the lost son returned to his father in the parable. Imagine the angels in heaven and the party they will throw when you are "found"!
Copyright © 2000 Kimberly B. Southall. All rights reserved.