The Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Two Lost Sons
A few weeks ago my wife Linda lost her purse. We looked high and low, but the purse was nowhere to be found. We didn’t know if it was misplaced or stolen. If someone else had possession of the purse they could have used her credit cards, checks, cash and even her personal identity. So, she spent the next several hours canceling her checking accounts and credit cards, hoping that we could protect ourselves from theft or fraud. Finally after hours of panic, we left the bank and returned to the car. The moment we closed the car door Linda’s phone rang. “Mam? Are you Linda Russ? I believe we have your purse.” What a relief! We were so happy to know the purse was safe and secure. On the other hand we were disheartened. If they would have called just a few hours earlier, we could have saved an entire afternoon of grief. Have you ever lost anything important? How did you feel? What did you do?
Study the Word
The fifteenth chapter of Luke tells three stories that are very closely connected; the stories of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the two lost sons.
1. In all three stories something valuable was lost. What did the shepherd, woman, and father sacrifice in order to regain what was lost?
2. How does their intense resolve to recover what was lost reveal to us about their dedication and devotion?
3. What happened when the lost was recovered?
4. How does their spirit of celebration reflect their love and dedication?
5. Notice that the shepherd left the others in search of the lost sheep. The woman searched intently for the coin. But the father simply waited for his son’s return. Why? How is the lost son any different than a lost coin or sheep? What are the implications of the father’s actions?
6. Notice the title of this study says, “…Two Lost Son’s”. The second son was lost even though he never left home. In what way was the second son lost? How did the father respond to the second son?
7. Look at verses 1-2 of chapter 15. It seems as if Jesus told these three stories in response to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. What was he trying to say?
8. Which of these statements do you feel most accurately reflects the point Jesus was trying to make?
*God loves you so much he is willing leave all others to find you.
*God loves you so much you have his undivided attention.
*God loves you so much he will wait patiently for your return.
*There is rejoicing when one person returns to God.
*Those of us who are religious and follow God’s law should rejoice and be patient with those
don’t seem to deserve God’s grace.
1. In this passage we realize that God is gracious and He is on a relentless pursuit of love. What should be our response to Him when we realize we have fallen?
2. In light of these passages, what should be our response to others when we see they are lost?