Joy, not Judgement

Today's Bible reading: Luke 15:1-10

Jesus didn’t come to seek and save the righteous, but sinners … He came to seek and save the lost.  A few weeks back we talked about Jesus’ parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son … all of which are an answer to these scribes and Pharisees who are accusing Jesus of improper conduct.  In their view, He makes Himself unclean by having fellowship - especially meal fellowship - with sinners.

One sheep probably wouldn’t be too terribly missed in a modern flock of thousands.  But back in the ancient world … back at the time of Jesus … every sheep was extremely precious to the shepherd – even in a rather large flock of 100.  With God, every last person is precious.  He and His angels joyfully celebrate the return of every repentant sinner who is returned to the fold.  Actually, that’s how the “righteous” should act as they see sinners turning from their past evil: with joy and celebration … and not with judgment.

That’s also the lesson Jesus is trying to share with us about the woman who loses one of her 10 precious silver coins – especially precious because they are probably her dowry.  She will not rest until the one missing coin is found.  The conclusion is the same: God delights when the sinner is found.  Heaven rings with shouts of joy over the repentance of every sinner … over every wayward person who returns to the Lord and is reconciled to Him … and is brought back into relationship with Him.

Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, our Good Shepherd, make us faithful, and bless our every effort to enlarge your flock.  We thank you for having made us your followers.  Help us to carry out Your mission as Your representatives, to be the ministers and missionaries You have called us to be; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.