Luke 15:11-32


            In chapter 15 of Luke Jesus spoke 3 parables.  The key verse for the parables of the lost and found is Luke 19:10,  “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus was speaking to Publicans and Sinners along with the Pharisees and Scribes.  The first parable was about 100 sheep of which one was lost.  The second one was about the ten coins of which one was lost and the third was about two sons of which one was lost.  In the first two Jesus talked about how they had lost one and they sought till they found it and there was joy.  The third parable the son had to come home on his own.  These are the three parables of Grace. 


The parable of the lost sheep.


V4 “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”  The man is Christ and the sheep is the lost sinner.  The sinner might not know he is even lost.  So he has no way of knowing how to find his way home.  This is why we need a real Shepherd.


V5-7 “And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”  Christ is again talking to the Pharisees speaking to their righteousness, which are the ninety and nine.


The parable of the lost coin.


V8 This is the second parable.  “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?”  The woman is the Holy Spirit and the coin is its usefulness to her.  There are two thoughts that can be derived from this parable.  One is the seeking out of the lost sinner and the other is the seeking out of a Christian out of the will of God.  Neither of these can come to the Father except that He pursue them.  Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”


V9 and 10 “And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”  Notice in verse 10 that the angels did not rejoice but there was rejoicing in the presents of the angels.  Angels do not understand salvation; it’s not part of what they do.

The parable of the two sons.


Departure and sin

V11 and 12 “And 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 falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.”  The father is the Father (God) and the son is us.  The son has only one father and in losing him he loses all.  We are lost to God through our own free will.  We deprive our self of God.  In this parable the father let him go of his own free will.  This is not what the father wanted for his son.  Even today there comes a point that we have to let them go.  We counsel them; try to reason with them to no avail.  The father did not seek after him to bring him back.  Some people just need to try it on their own to realize they need a Savior or a father to help them.  Being the younger brother according to Jewish Law was entitled to 1/3 of the goods or movable property at the father’s death. 


V13 “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”  Sounds familiar, we either did it or know someone that have done something similar.   We do not know how long this period was but it does not take long to go through money.  Some of the things he did without thought:


Misery and chastisement


V14 “ And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”  To spend was to waist and squander what he had.  He had no control on himself. 


V15 and 16  “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”  Jews to feed swine is the lowest thing that he could do.  Jews did not even eat swine because they were unclean.  Egyptians swine herders were completely cut off from society.  They could not even worship their gods.  Jesus wanted to show them how bad it got for him. It shows the depravity and misery of sinners in their lusts for sin.   In verse 16 he longed or lusted to have something to eat.  The husks were most likely Carob pods, an eastern Mediterranean evergreen tree in the pea family, having pinnately compound leaves and large, dark, leathery pods.  The pod of this plant, containing a sweet edible pulp and seeds that yield a gum used as a stabilizer in food products.




Conviction and resolve


V17-19  “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”  He started thinking about what was going on back at the farm.  He knew the only position that he had with his father would be no better than the slaves that worked for his father.  They had it a lot better than he had it.  When we leave the protection of God lots of things can happen to us.  We are no longer under the protection of God.  This is a dangerous place to be.  Even with nothing we are better off with God than without Him.  Do not add to your suffering by isolating yourself from God.  That’s what the devil wants you to do, give up on God so he can get to you.  He was willing to give up his way to come under his father’s rule.  It did not look so bad now from where he was at this point. 


Return and welcome


V20-24  “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”  The son made up his mind that what ever his father had for him he was willing to receive it.  There were ten things that the father did for his son when he saw him coming from afar off:

1.      Saw him a great way off

2.      Had compassion on him

3.      Ran to meet him and welcome him home

4.      Fell on his neck and kissed him

5.      Heard his confession and forgave him

6.      Put the best robe on him

7.      Put a ring on his hand

8.      Put shoes on his feet

9.      Made a great feast

10.  Began to be merry


His father did not look back on what his son had done to him and the family.  He looked ahead to what he could do for his son. 


Jealousy and anger of the older brother


V25 “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing” Here his brother was out in the field working and he heard all this noise.   Sometimes we hear and see things that we do not understand and we have to get help to explain what is happening.  So he asked the servant.


V26 and 27 “And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.”  There is always someone that wants to get it started.  Siblings are the best for that but since he only had a brother he was left to ask a servant who was most happy to assist. 


V28-30 “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. 29And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”  He acted very childish in his behavior.  He lacked wisdom and knowledge in how to assess what is taking place.  Here are just a few of the traits that both he and the Pharisees showed:  Both

1.      Murmured

2.      Were jealous of sinners

3.      Lacked love for sinners

4.      Were sullen

5.      Saw sinners blessed

6.      Were ignorant of what was happening

7.      Were angry

8.      Justified their actions

9.      Tried to keep sinners from being blessed

10.  Bragged on themselves

11.  Self-righteous

12.  Clamed to keep the commandments

13.  Found fault


V31 and 32 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”   Sometimes we tend to forget the continual blessings that we are under when we serve God.  The son had forgot this and could not understand why his brother was getting the red carpet treatment.  We need to be at peace with what God is doing in out lives and rejoice when we see others being blessed by God.