Christianity 201

April 28, 2019

He Comes to Find Us

Sunday Worship: He Comes to Find Us

by Ruth Wilkinson

In the beginning, He came –
To walk with us in the garden,
in the cool of the evening.

After our fall, He came –
To prove to us that even death
couldn’t hide us from Him.

After the Garden, He came –
To meet us in the wide world.

In the life of Abraham, He came –
To call us to something greater than ourselves.

In Egypt, He came –
To set His people free.

In the tabernacle, He came –
To show us His glory, His power
and His holiness.

In his own best time, He came –
As a human man on Earth,
to be seen, to be heard and to be touched.

After His resurrection, He came –
To show Mary that he was alive.
To show Thomas the beauty of faith.
To show Peter the power
of forgiveness.
To show Cleopas and Mary that
they didn’t have to walk away.

In the early days of His church, He came –
To tell Saul of Tarsus that he had a new job.

Through the centuries since, and every day,
He comes to find us, wherever we are.


What follows is much abridged from the article linked in the header which follows. If you have time read the whole article at Bible.org

God’s Lost and Found (Luke 15:1-10)

by Stephen J. Cole

1. Sinners are lost until God finds them.

…Paul describes the former condition of his Gentile readers: “You were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).

Jesus first tells the parable of the lost sheep. A lost sheep in the Judean wilderness was doomed. It had no protection and it would be only a short time before the coyotes or other predators would attack and kill it. A lost dog might eventually find its way home, but a lost sheep is unable to do so. As such, it is a picture of a lost sinner. The sinner may not even know that he is lost and headed for destruction, but that is the truth. Even if he becomes aware of his condition, there is nothing he can do about it. Jesus said that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws him (John 6:44, 65). Paul says that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4)…

2. God goes to great effort to seek lost sinners.

The shepherd leaves his 99 other sheep and goes after the lost one, searching until He finds it. The woman who lost her coin sets aside all her other work and diligently searches until she finds it. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who described His mission as “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10)…

…God did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all (Rom. 8:32). Jesus did not selfishly cling to the glory and beauty and comfort of heaven, but He laid aside His rights and came to this earth, not as the mighty King to judge sinners, but as the lowly servant to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He willingly endured the abuse of arrogant men whom He could have zapped off the face of the earth in order to secure the salvation of His sheep…

3. God rejoices greatly when lost sinners come to repentance.

Spurgeon takes the 99 righteous persons who need no repentance to refer to those who have already been justified by grace through faith… Thus they are not at present in need of repentance. He uses the illustration of a family with seven children, where one is deathly ill, but then recovers.

I prefer, however, another view. In the three parables, the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son all represent the lost tax gatherers and sinners who were coming to hear Jesus and getting saved. The 99 sheep, the nine coins that were not lost, and the older brother who never strayed all represent the Pharisees and scribes. They are not in the fold or household of faith, but in the household of Israel, made up both of those who are saved and those who are not. It is not that they did not need repentance for themselves, but rather that they thought that they were good enough not to need repentance. Thus Jesus was using irony to show them their self-righteous pride, especially in the case of the older brother who could not bring himself to rejoice at his brother’s repentance. He is a mirror of the Pharisees!

We saw the same thing back in Luke 5:32, when the Pharisees grumbled because Jesus and His disciples ate with the sinners at Levi’s house. Jesus replied, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” …

Conclusion

These parables show God’s concern and compassion for sinners, but not for sinners en masse, but for individual sinners. The shepherd goes after one sheep. The woman hunts diligently for a single coin. The Good Shepherd knows His sheep by name (John 10:3). He calls them individually to come to Himself. He cares about every lost sinner who needs repentance. He cares for you…

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