In the Bible, the Word of God, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 19, verse 10, we have a “golden text” that says,  “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.  The truth of these words is fully illustrated in a parable spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ in (Luke 15:1-32).  A “parable” is an earthy story with a heavenly meaning.  It is a narrative or utterance drawn from nature or human circumstances, the object of which is to set forth a spiritual lesson.  The purpose of the Lord’s parable was to set forth the great truth of how lost sinners are found and saved for heaven.  This parable is one story that has three distinct parts.  The first of this three part parable, concerning the “lost sheep”,  is found in, (Luke 15:1-7).  This is the portion we want to consider in this message.  This is the parable of, “THE LOST SHEEP AND THE SEEKING SHEPHERD”.  We want to consider this portion of scripture by way of the following outline:









Let’s consider first of all;



We read in (verse 1), “Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him”.  Notice the description of these people and what they did.  They were called “publicans and sinners”.  “Publicans” were the tax collectors for the Roman government in their day and they were intensely hated by the Jewish people.  The others were described as “sinners”.  This means they “missed the mark” before God and they were acknowledged to be sinners both by nature and by practice.    They knew they were lost and needed to be saved.  We know this because it says of them, they “drew near to hear Him”.  They MOVED TOWARDS THE SAVIOR.  They wanted to hear what the Lord had to say.  In contrast, we read in (verse 2), “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured saying, this man receiveth sinners and eateth with them”.  Notice the description of these people and what they did.  These Pharisees and scribes were self-righteous, religious people, proud legalist that had no desire to hear what the Lord had to say.  They would not acknowledge that they were sinners much less lost sinners who needed to be saved.  Notice what they did.  Unlike the publicans and sinners, they MURMURED AT THE SAVIOR.  They hated the Lord Jesus and in a derogatory way they said of Him, “This man receiveth sinners and eateth with them”.  Here we have a wonderful DESCRIPTION OF THE SAVIOR and something that is blessedly true.  Dear reader, in which of these two categories are YOU?  Are YOU self righteous and religious and believe that some how your so called good works or moral life will get you to heaven?    You need to understand that your estimation of your sins does not matter.  It is what God thinks of your sins that must be your chief concern.  You need to pay close attention to what God says in His Word about your so called righteous and moral life.  It says in, (Isaiah 64:6) “We are ALL as an unclean thing, and all our righteous nesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”.  Man is totally polluted, defiled and depraved before a holy God.  Furthermore, God says in His Word in, (Romans 3:9-23) “Jews and Gentiles, they are ALL under sin”.  “There is none righteous, no, not one”.  “There is none that doeth good, no, not one”.  “There is no fear of God before their eyes”.  “ALL HAVE SINNED and come short of the glory of God”.  “All the world … guilty before God”.  In addition to this sad description of what the natural man is, sin has consequences.  The consequences of sin are death.  God says in, (Ezekiel 18:4) “All souls are mine; the soul that sinneth, it shall die”.  It says in, (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  This death is spiritual as well as physical.  When man sinned against God he died spiritually, being cut off from the source of life, which is God.  In time sin works its course and all men eventually die physically.  We read in, (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but AFTER THIS the judgment”.  Following physical death is the judgment of God.  For the Christ rejecting sinner, this judgment will result in a “second death” which is eternal separation from God and unspeakable anguish in the “lake of fire”.  Read (Revelation 20:11-15; 21:8).  Dear reader, you need to be saved.  YOU need to be like the “publicans and sinner’s” in this parable who “drew near” to hear what the Lord Jesus Christ had to say.  Please do not be like the Pharisees and scribes in this parable who were depending on their religion and so called self righteousness to get them to heaven.  This brings us to;



It says in, (verse 3), “And He spake this parable unto them, saying ….”  Following the Lord’s observation of the two groups of people described in verse’s 1 and 2, we have THE DECLARATION OF THE SAVIOR.  The Lord told them a parable of a man who had an hundred sheep.  He lost one of them.  He left the ninety nine in the wilderness and went after the one lost sheep.  This parable, this earthly story with a heavenly meaning, which follows, describes THE WAY LOST SINNERS ARE SAVED.  The Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, is like the man, the shepherd, in this parable who went out to find the one lost sheep.  We are reminded then, from this story of;



It says at the end of (verse 4), that it was THE DESIRE OF THE SHEPHERD to, “go after that which is lost, until he find it”.  Notice the PURPOSE of the Savior, to “go after that which is lost”.  We are reminded of the “golden text in the gospel of Luke, (19:10), “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which is lost”.  Notice also the PERSISTENCE of the Savior, to search, “until he finds it”. How far will the Shepherd go?  How long will the Shepherd search?  The answer is, “until he finds it”.  In (Isaiah 53:6) we have a description of mankind, of every man, women, boy and girl.  It says, “ALL we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all”.  Notice the big little word “ALL”.  It includes YOU dear reader.  YOU have gone astray from God.  YOU have turned and gone your own way in life.  As a result, what it says in, (Isaiah 59:2) applies to you, “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear”.  If you’re not saved, your path through life is leading you away from God.  It says in, (Proverbs 16:25) “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.   Your way through life may seem right to you.  But, God warns in His Word that if you do not get saved, death and destruction are before you.  It says in, (Matthew 7:13, 14) “Enter ye in at the strait (narrow) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:  Because strait (narrow) is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”.  The gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to eternal ruin because of the many that refuse to believe the gospel of the grace of God.  The gate is narrow and the way is narrow that leads to God and heaven because you must come in God’s exclusive way which is through His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord Jesus said in, (John 14:6) “I am THE WAY, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.  There is no other way to heaven.  But, thanks be to God, THE DESIRE OF THE SAVIOR is to find the sheep that are lost.  Because we have ALL “gone astray” and “turned every one to his own way”, “the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us ALL”.  This brings to our attention Calvary and the Saviors death on the cross.  This is why He came down from the heavenly glory and came into this world.  He was born of a virgin.  He was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  The Son of God was incarnated and for the first time God walked among men in a body of flesh and blood.  It says of the Lord Jesus Christ in, (Philippians 2:6-8) “Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:  But made Himself of no reputation (emptied Himself, veiled His pre-incarnate Glory) and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  It was there on the cross, “that He by the grace of God tasted death for every man” (Hebrews 2:9).  It was there on the cross that, “the Lord laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.  It was there on the cross, dear reader, that the Savior bore YOUR heavy burden of sins.  It says in, (Romans 5:8) “God commendeth (demonstrated) His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. On the cross Christ died instead of us.  He died on our behalf.  I wonder, has your heart become so hard dear reader that these wonderful truths of scripture have no affect on you?   The Lord Jesus said of Himself in, (John 10:11) “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”.  He said also in, (John 10:15, 17) “I lay down my life for the sheep”.  “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again”.  By His death on the cross the Savior has satisfied all the claims of a holy, righteous and just God.  You can now have forgiveness of sins and be declared righteous before God by putting you faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Have YOU ever done this?  Will YOU receive Him as your Lord and Savior?  The hymn writer penned the words;


“None of the ransomed ever knew

How deep were the waters crossed?

Nor how dark the night the Lord passed through,

Ere He found His sheep that was lost.

Out on the mountain, He heard its cry,

Sick and helpless and ready to die.”


 Let us consider next;



It says in, (verse 5) “And when He hath found it (the lost sheep) He layeth it on His shoulders rejoicing”.  Here we have THE DISCOVERY OF THE SAVIOR.  He has found the lost sheep.  It reminds us of the Shepherds long search with much toil and pain.  In order to find us, as lost sheep, the Savior had to come by the way of the cross and suffer and bleed and die in our place.  It says in, (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.  Notice the Shepherd here in (verse 5); we are reminded of HIS POWER on behalf of the sheep as He carries it on His shoulders.  We see also His personal joy at finding the lost sheep as He carries the sheep rejoicing.  Notice the sheep in this verse.  The lost sheep that has been found is a RESCUED SHEEP and a RESTING SHEEP.  It is not left to wander home on its own.  Dear reader, are YOU still a “straying sheep”?  You are, if YOU do not believe in Him and have not received Him as your own personal Savior.  It says in, (John 10:26) “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep”.  The sheep in this parable are described in two ways, at the end of (verse 4) the sheep are described as, “that which is lost”.  They have not been found by the Shepherd.  They are still lost.  It is a picture of all who are unsaved and still in their sins.   We have another description at the end of (verse 6).  The Shepherd says, “I have found MY SHEEP which was lost”.  It is after the sheep are found that the Shepherd calls them, “MY SHEEP”.  Dear reader, does the Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ say of YOU, “MY SHEEP”?  Have YOU been rescued (saved) and are YOU resting in the knowledge that your sins have been forgiven?  The Lord Jesus said in, (John 10:27-29) “MY SHEEP hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them me; is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand”. Have YOU “heard His voice” and have YOU acknowledged His Lordship over YOUR life?  Do YOU follow Him?  These verses, (John 10:27-29) remind us that all who are His sheep have eternal security and can never be lost again.  The “Great Shepherd” describes all who are saved as “My Sheep”.  They have been “rescued” by Him.  They are “resting” in the knowledge that their sins have been forgiven and they are eternally secure in God’s salvation.  This brings us to;



It says in, (verse 6a) “When He cometh home”.  THE DESTINATION OF THE SAVIOR was “home”.  The lost sheep that was rescued and resting safely with the Shepherd was now being brought home.  It is a lovely picture of a sinner saved by the grace of God, who was once a “straying sheep”, being brought home.  When a person gets saved, they are and will be brought home.  They are first “brought home” to God.  This is their “interim destination”.  We read in, (1 Peter 3:18) “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, THAT HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD”.  Ultimately, all who are saved by the grace of God will be brought home to heaven.  This is their “ultimate destination”.  The Lord Jesus Christ said to those who believe in Him, who are His own, (John 14:2, 3) “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also”.  Dear reader, will you have part in this wonderful promise?  Is there a place prepared for YOU in heaven?  There is an eternity before you.  There are only two destinations, heaven or hell.  Which will it be for YOU?  There will be no joy in hell.  There will be joy in heaven.  This joy begins when a sinner gets saved.  This leads us to our final point we want to consider;



The Shepherd says in these verse’s, (verse’s 6b, 7) “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance”.  Hear we have THE DELIGHT OF THE SAVIOR.  This is the second time the joy of the Shepherd Savior is mentioned.  We read it in, (verse 5) “When he hath found it (the lost sheep), he layeth it on his shoulders, REJOICING”.  This was His “personal” joy, His “private” joy.  At the end of verse 6, it is His “public” joy for He has called His friends and neighbors together as it says in this verse.  Then, in verse 7, there is revealed a wonderful truth.  “There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth”.  One lost sheep found (one sinner saved) is the object of interest and the cause of joy in heaven.  The Savior rejoices and heaven rejoices when a sinner repents of their sins and receives the Lord Jesus Christ as their own personal Savior.  Dear reader, have YOU repented of your sins?  In this message we have sought to make you aware of YOUR sinful condition before a holy God.  When this truth is believed there will be a desire to repent on your part.  The Lord Jesus said in, (Luke 13:3) “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish”.  We read in, (Acts 17:30) “God …now commandeth all men everywhere to repent”.  Repentance is not “penance” where you feel sorry and seek to perform acts of penance to gain favor and forgiveness from God.  In true repentance there is an element of remorse for sins that leads to a definite change of attitude and action.  “Repentance” is a change of mind with regard to sins in your life.  There is no other way to obtain forgiveness of sins and God’s salvation other than by repentance.  Repentance must be coupled with faith in order to be saved.  It says in, (Acts 20:21) Repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.  Repentance is due to God and faith is due to the Lord Jesus Christ.  God has done everything He can do to provide salvation for YOU.  It says in, (1 John 4:14) “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world”.  (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. 


In closing, let me remind you dear reader, if YOU remain unsaved it will not be because God does not love YOU, or because God’s Son did not die for YOU, but it will be because YOU have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.  Which will it be for you?  Will it be reception or rejection of the Savior?  YOU are traveling the “highway of life”.  Now that you have read this message you have come to “the crossroads”.  The “crossroads” are a place where a decision has to be made.  Which way will you go?  Will you continue to reject the Savior and God’s free gift of salvation which is the “broad way” that leads to destruction?  Or, will you believe in Him and receive Him as YOUR Lord and Savior?   It is your decision and your responsibility. 


Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.


Christian Messenger