EVERYONE Matters To Jesus

Luke records three very similar parables in the fifteenth chapter.  They all involved something valuable that was lost and the celebration that accompanies that valuable thing being found.  The three parables are of a lost:
  • Sheep
  • Coin
  • Son

Jesus was eating with a bunch of “sinners.”  This drove the religious elite of His day nuts!  The Pharisees and teachers of the law would never associate with tax collectors and prostitutes!  Yet Jesus did so on a regular basis.  In fact, they remarked that Jesus welcomed them (Luke 15:2, NIV).  His heart was full of compassion for the sinners of our world.  His merciful heart ached for those who knew that they were far from God.  His heart of grace wanted the outcasts to repent and be welcomed into God’s family.  But the religious elite wanted no part of them.  These people were unworthy of God’s favor and forgiveness.  So Jesus tells some stories about lost things.

The first story is about a lost sheep.  A shepherd has 100 sheep and one of them goes missing.  There is something that you need to know about shepherds and sheep from Jesus’ day.  A shepherd was financially liable for every sheep with which he was entrusted.  Every single sheep was important to the shepherd.  Every single lamb was valuable to the shepherd.  So much so that the shepherd would be willing to leave the 99 who were safe to go and find the one that was lost.
Do you know what this means?  I believe that it means that Jesus would have left Heaven’s throne room to die for one sinner.  If every single person on the planet was perfect and there was only one sinner that needed redemption, Jesus would still have gone to the cross.  Why?  Because everyone is valuable to God.  Regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or sin, everyone matters to Jesus.  Everyone.  Jesus died for all sinners.  He wants everyone to repent and trust Him for salvation.  And when anyone does, the angels throw a party in Heaven!  They celebrate every single sinner that repents and turns to Christ.  We must never deny someone the opportunity to hear about Jesus.  No matter the color of skin.  No matter the flavor of sin.  If someone is willing to hear, believe, repent and be baptized, then we must be willing to tell them of Jesus and His love.  No.  Matter.  What.  Every person matters to God.  So much so that He sent His Son on a mission to find all of those lost sheep.

Luke 15

New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

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