Luke and The Lost
There seemed to be millions of cars and trucks speeding past on the expressway from Oklahoma City to Shawnee that day. We had received a frantic call that Randy’s grandmother was taken to the emergency room and it didn’t look good. We were young parents with toddlers at the time. We jumped up, grabbed what we thought we might need quickly, strapped down our kiddos and took off in our old Nova.
About halfway there, the car sputtered, slowed, ready to quit running so Randy pulled it over on the shoulder of the highway. Out of gas. We didn’t check the gas gauge before leaving. We didn’t think of that in the rush. We needed a rescue.
Back in the day before cell phones, there was this invention called a CB radio. We had one. Randy called out for help. Truckers are on them all the time so we knew someone might hear us. I prayed. No help was coming. I know this is going to sound weird, but I asked Randy to let me try. A woman’s voice might get more action. It did. A car full of suspicious looking characters, in our eyes, pulled over immediately. “Need gas?” they said. “We can drive you to the next station to get gas and bring you right back.” Randy left us and got in their car. Now, my prayers were stronger and more intense. “Lord, keep him safe and bring him back.”
What seemed like hours, but just minutes, Randy was back with a gallon of fuel for the car. We were rescued. What a relief! I could breathe again. We were elated. The kids clapped to have daddy back with us! We thanked our rescuers over and over again. We thanked God who sent them. We were back to our mission of getting to the hospital. That is one of numerous times God provided a rescue for us, both physically and spiritually. God always has a heart for lost people. God provides a rescue.
God sent Jesus, who was suspicious in his looks and nature to religious leaders, to seek and to rescue those lost without hope, salvation, redemption, joy. Jesus left the walls of the synagogue and meeting places to find them. He left the “sheep herd” who said they knew God, to find those who didn’t know God and were lost in the world. After a few rescues, lost people began to hang out with Him, Jesus Christ, Son of God, because they were now found. Those precious souls, of suspicious nature and looks, were rescued and they knew it. They brought other lost people to Him!
Jesus shares three “lost” stories to explain to the religious elite at the time what being lost and found, rescued and redeemed looks like and what it means to God. Read on…measure every word with thought about today’s world. This is “lost” story number one.
Luke 15, The Message
The Story of the Lost Sheep
1-3 By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.
4-7 “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.
Think about it…
–Heaven rejoices and praises God every time a lost one is found. Every. Time.
–Hanging around Jesus in thought, hearing His Words, accepting His Truth, learning to think like him will cause you to take part in the rescue of pointing others to Christ, the Rescuer.
–Jesus saves. We just point people in the right direction toward Him….not us.
–We who are rescued bring others who need rescued to Him.
–Don’t be obstinate sheep!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for rescuing me. When I was lost and wandering, you found me, threw me on your shoulders and you won’t let me go. Now help me to point others in your direction with my testimony and Your Truth.
In Jesus Name, Amen