When I was a kid, I was terrible with directions. When I was in fourth grade we moved across town and a few days afterwards I had to walk hoe from my new school by myself (after my dad had walked us several times) and I made a wrong turn and got lost. I panicked! By the time I had gotten myself turned back around and home, I was in tears, even though I was not all that late in getting there. Being lost is terrifying!
In this chapter Jesus tells three parables about how much God cares for those who are lost. In the first two a sheep and a coin are lost. A shepherd leaves the ninety-nine sheep in the fold to go search for the one that wandered off. And the woman swept and cleaned the entire house to find the lost coin. In both cases, when that which was lost is found, friends and neighbors and called to celebrate. “In the same way, I tell, you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)
The third parable is the familiar one of the “Prodigal Son.” In Jewish tradition of the time, the eldest son would receive a double portion of the inheritance. So, in this case, the money etc. would be divided into thirds. The younger son requested his third, received it, went to a far country, and wasted it all on hard living (sex, drugs, drinking), and then had nothing left when a famine hit. He got the only job he could find, tending pigs, but still had nothing to eat. He thought back with fondness to those who worked for his father and the fact that they always had plenty to eat. He realized the error of his ways and decided he’d rather work for his father than stay wallowing in his pride with the pigs. So he went home. His father saw him coming and ran out and welcomed him home saying, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (vs 24)
Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” And Luke 15:7 says, “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.” Jesus came to seek each one and save every one who comes to Him. Every person who believes is a reason to celebrate!