Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The Seeking Savior
Terry R. Baughman
“The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
Luke is the only Gospel writer to give us the three stories of lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. In the first two stories the one suffering loss goes to great lengths to find that which was lost and to restore the property. In the story of the lost son the grieving father awaits the return of the prodigal. There is a lesson, or maybe several lessons, in the correlation of the biblical tales.
The Good Shepherd was concerned about every sheep and He numbered them, remembered them, and was concerned about the one that was lost and alone facing the danger of night. Ninety-Nine sheep were accounted for and safely collected in the fold. They were secured, but one was missing. The shepherd retraced their steps and sought carefully in the deepening darkness. He listened for the cry of the sheep and looked in ravines and among the thickets until he finally found it. He carried him home with a light heart and a gladdened gait. Once the lost one was safely in the fold he called friends together to share in his joy.
The woman who lost the silver coin was distraught over the loss and set about to find the missing item. While it may not have seemed to be so valuable to others it was very important to the woman. She swept floors, moved furniture, carefully looking in every crack and corner until she finally found the missing coin. Again, she was so joyful over the recovery she had to celebrate with others and called friends to come together for a party over her good fortune.
In the final story there was a departure from the plot line. A father’s son asked for an advance on his inheritance so that he might live it up and enjoy life in the present. The grieving father obliged the errant son and gave him what he had coming. The boy left home and lived it up, until the money ran out and friends were gone. When the son came to the realization of his folly and awakened to his mistake he was far from home, hungry, and alone. In this story, the father did not chase or seek for him; he simply waited at home and watched with a wistful eye down the path that took his son away. Only when the lone figure of the returning prodigal appeared on the trail did the father run to meet him in a joyful reunion.
In both the lost sheep and the lost coin there was joyful celebration over their return. Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10). Equally, the father wanted to celebrate over the return over the lost son. He prepared a feast and invited many to come and welcome the prodigal home. He exclaimed, “‘For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy” (Luke 15:24 TPT).
Whether Jesus seeks the lost sheep, the thing of value, or awaits the return of the errant child, He is still concerned about restoration and rejoices when the lost is returned. Those who feel His heartbeat and understand His passion will also celebrate when the lost is reunited with the Father. Our desire must be one with His. Our compassion for the lost must motivate us to join in the search for the lost ones and bring them back into the fold.
Jesus is still seeking the lost and willing to save. “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). That is His ultimate purpose, “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” (John 3:16). His love is constant and His purpose unchanging. Together, let us seek and find the lost.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12 NIV).