Luke 15:1-10, Common English Bible
Every school has a box called “lost and found.” Many children lose some valuable possessions during the school year. Adults even lose valuable items, like credit cards, cell phones, rings or even keys. Sometimes they are fortunate to find them and other times, the item is simply lost and will need to be replaced.
Jesus begins to tell a parable (a story) of the ultimate value of humanity. Jesus uses an illustration that transcends time. One is a prized sheep and the other is a valuable coin. In both cases, the lost subject is worth the search. So imagine hearing these words from Jesus, both of these illustrations serve as situations that are undervalued in society. One is a shepherd and the other is a woman.
Jesus invites these parables to be articulated at a common table. With the invitation to tax collectors and sinners, Jesus gathers them around a table so that there is…
All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2
“Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
“Or what woman, if she owns ten silver coins and loses one of them, won’t light a lamp and sweep the house, searching her home carefully until she finds it?” Luke 15:8
“In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives.” Luke 15:7
“When she finds it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, joy breaks out in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who changes both heart and life.” Luke 15:9-10
Hear the W.O.W., the words of Wisdom,
“Heaven rejoices in a changed heart!”