Jesus, Friend of Sinners

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Adrian Rogers says, “A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.”

In Luke 15, Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ criticism with three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. In these three stories, we see how much God loves us, and why Jesus is a friend of sinners.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4).

Sheep are dumb and defenseless; they are completely dependent on shepherds to protect them from predators. They can’t find their way home. In spiritual terms, we are very much like sheep.

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?” (Luke 15:8).

A coin is meant to be spent or treasured, but one that is lost is worthless and unprofitable. This coin was lost in darkness, dirt, and disgrace. Likewise, we were created to know, love, and serve God; when we are lost, we are worthless.

“…A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood…” (Luke 15:11-12).

In this final parable, Jesus begins the story of the lost son. After he received his inheritance and squandered it, there was a deep depression in the land. As a result, the son was broke; he was degraded to feeding pigs in a foreign country, which brought great dissatisfaction. 

Like this lost son, we’ve gone astray and find ourselves desperate and spiritually starving.

These parables not only explain the sinful nature of Man, but they also reveal the saving nature of God. Jesus Christ is the shepherd who rescues the lost sheep. The woman searching for her lost coin represents the Holy Spirit. God our Father is the father running to receive his prodigal son.

God loves us; He is the Good Shepherd seeking us. He is the Holy Spirit shining light upon us. And He is the Father with arms open wide, welcoming us home.

Life Application

Have you been rescued, revealed, and received by God? Worship God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Spirit today. Let Him begin a good work in your heart.

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Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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