" I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over
one sinner who repents." Luke 15
There are three wonderful, consecutive parables in the Gospel of Luke that
I will call "recovery" parables. In each, something of value as either been lost
or has walked away. Each of these items, a lost sheep, a stone and the prodigal
son has a great value to the one who has lost it. In each case, the return of
the item causes great celebration over its recovery.
In a very real way, each of us is a lost sheep. Sheep are animals that do
not do so well on their own. They have the tendency to become lost, disoriented,
weak; they are subject to disease, poison plants, predators, and without
their shepherd, can be in such trouble that even death can result. We were
lost in sin, blind to out situations and dead to sinfulness before we were
recovered by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Our chances of
being saved, of being seen as righteous before a Holy God, of being able to stand in His presence, were zero.
Like the prodigal son, we had turned our backs on God determined to strike
out on our own, taking an eternal inheritance and squandering it in our pride
and self-assurance. Our situations, like his, were not what we had imagined they
would become. Like the father in the parable, God has welcomed us back,
even to the point of celebration over our recovery as one valuable to the
Living God. Through He is totally against sin, He has compassion and
love for His created and a willingness to reach out, hoping that we will
The Day of the Lord is at hand when all will stand judgement; yet, He waits
until the exact right time, hoping that as many as possible will hear the voice
of the shepherd and respond in repentance and belief.
What a wonderful awesome God He is!