October 27 (Daily reading: Luke 14-15) There is something inherently sad about the thought of being lost. Just hearing about a search for a lost child is heartbreaking. At the same time, there is the potential of great joy when the child is found! Jesus uses the theme of lostness in three stories in Luke 15. The first story described a shepherd who had lost one of his sheep. He diligently searched until he found the lost sheep, and then invited those close to him to rejoice with him. The same theme was presented in the story of a woman who had lost a coin. She searched until she found it, and then, like the shepherd, invited others to celebrate with her. Jesus gave the meaning of the stories when He said: “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (vv. 7, 10). He was talking about a lost soul.
The story of the lost (or prodigal) son is even more compelling because it described a lost person, a son who was loved by his father. When the son was found because he decided to return home, the father saw him coming long before he arrived. He had been looking for his return every day! The father’s love is obvious as he involved the entire household in celebrating: “This son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found” (v. 24).
The reality of a lost world saddens us, but there is the prospect of joy because God has provided the solution in His Son. As the prodigal came to his senses, the one who is lost must return to the Heavenly Father who is waiting for him. Jesus defined His ministry in these words: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10).
– Al Gary