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Become the Hands and Feet of Jesus to a Hurting World (Luke 15:1-10)

Sermon on 22 October 2023 by Pastor Justin Chia

Luke 15:1-32 - “Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them, saying: “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? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. “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? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Then He said: “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. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” ’ “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ””

This portion of the scriptures contain 3 parables - the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin and the parable of the lost son.

Parable of the lost sheep:

Luke 15:4 - ““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?”

A hundred sheep is a mid-sized flock.

Luke 15:7 - “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

Repentance is the first message that Jesus preached in His Galilean ministry. John the Baptist preached the same thing. Peter also challenged the people to repent and believe in the gospel. Apostle Paul also said the same thing. Repentance is like a person who is sick and recognises that they need treatment. People who don’t have an understanding of their spiritual illness will not seek treatment. When one sinner repents, there is joy in heaven.

Parable of the lost coin:

Luke 15:8 - ““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?”

The Pharisees and scribes are not able to rejoice with those who are rejoicing as they think that they are higher than others. They are always revengeful.

Luke 15:10 - “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””

There will be joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents.

Parable of the lost son:

Luke 15:20 - ““And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.”

Repentance is always solely depending on the mercy of God and not about ourselves. Repentance is not about justification. In repentance, we must always run to God. The moment we repent, God relents. The moment we return, we are restored.

Luke 15:32 - “It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ ””

There is joy in the father when the prodigal son is back.

Every sinner is precious in the kingdom of God. Every life and every soul on Earth is precious to the Father.

Luke 5:31-32 - “Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.””

Isaiah 60:1-4 - “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.”

We need to live out Christ-likeness so that people can see the gospel. When one sinner repents, there will be joy in heaven, joy in the angels, and joy in the Father.

  1. Everyone matters in the Kingdom of God

We need to be the hands and feet of God to preach the gospel of peace to let people see the goodness of God. Live out that righteousness in your life. No matter how far away they are from God, they are still important in the kingdom of God.

Luke 15:2 - “And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.””

Luke 15:4 - ““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?”

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Q: When was the last time you lost something really valuable?

We are so important to God. Great rejoicing happens for one sinner that makes their way home to the Father. Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus in this hurting world by being friends with people you don’t like?

  1. Everyone is truly valuable in the kingdom of God

Heaven celebrates the one person who repents

Luke 15:7 - “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 15:10 - “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.””

Everyone is fearfully and wonderfully made by God. We are made in the image of God. God called us to continue His mission when He ascended to heaven by calling sinners into repentance.

Psalms 139:14 - “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”

Will you be the hands and the feet for Christ to bring the sinners back to God in the dying world?

1 Timothy 1:15 - “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”

  1. Every Christian’s priority in the kingdom of God

What is truly important and valuable to God? Is it also important and valuable to you?

2 Corinthians 5:9 - “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”

It is important to fill ourselves with the knowledge of God and win souls for Christ. That was Jesus’ mission on Earth.

What is valuable to God? It is time that we evaluate our own priorities. Pray about our decisions and if they align with the heart of God.

Isaiah 60:1-4 - “Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising. “Lift up your eyes all around, and see: They all gather together, they come to you; Your sons shall come from afar, And your daughters shall be nursed at your side.”

Let’s have the eyes to see and the courage to act when Christ is with us. Everyone matters in the kingdom of God. Every sinner is valuable in the kingdom of God and let us make bringing souls for Christ our top priority in the kingdom of God. Jesus is like the friends of the sinners.

Luke 19:10 - “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.””

Become the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting and dying world.

Proverbs 11:30 - “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.”

Amen.

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