11/18/15 Celebrating The Lost Now Found

When Jesus and His apostles awaken the next morning, they find that many people have left the camp after hearing Jesus speak about the cost of following Him.  But they keep pressing forward, visiting more villages.  And with every village visited, more people come to Jesus.  Tonight, He is eating dinner at the home of a tax collector.  There are many people in attendance who are not the most respected of the village, but Jesus has no qualms about being with them.  The Pharisees and Sadducees, however, do not feel the same way.  “How can You even associate with these people, let alone actually eat dinner with them?  They are the worst of sinners!” one says to Jesus on His way to the tax collector’s home.  Jesus pauses and turns to the angry group standing near Him.  “A shepherd has a flock of 100 sheep.  When one of them goes missing, he is frantic.  He counts the flock 3 times more to make sure he hasn’t missed it.  Then he calls a brother shepherd to keep watch over his flock while he sets out to find the one that is missing.  He searches through thorn bushes, over high hills and through muddy valleys looking for the one lost sheep.  Finally, he finds it.  He shouts for joy, runs to it, picks it up and embraces it tightly.  He carries the sheep back to the rest of the flock and celebrates with his friend because he has found his lost sheep.  He rejoices more over this one sheep that was lost and is now found than over the other 99 who were never lost to begin with.  I tell you the truth, in Heaven, there is a celebration for each sinner who turns away from a life of sin to come to God, just as the shepherd celebrated over the lost sheep that was found.”

Luke 15:1-7

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