TEXT: Luke 15:1-10; John 3:17
ONE day Jesus was speaking to a large crowd of people. Some of the people in that crowd loved Jesus. And some of them were sinners.
There were also some religious men in that crowd who were called Pharisees. They went to church all the time but they didn't love Jesus. They were upset and complained because Jesus would talk to sinners and even eat with them. These religious men thought that Jesus was wrong to do that. They didn't think it was right to talk to sinners.
Jesus decided that these people needed to hear a parable. A parable is a story with a special meaning.
Jesus started this parable by asking a question. "If any of you men had one hundred sheep and one of them was to get lost, wouldn't you leave the other ninety-nine sheep behind and go to look for the lost one?" Jesus knew they would do that because they loved their sheep.
Then He said, "When you have found the sheep that was lost you would pick it up and carry it over your shoulders. And you would be happy and rejoicing all the way home. When you arrived at your house you would call all your neighbors and friends to tell them the good news. You would ask them to rejoice with you, because you had found your lost sheep."
Jesus said, "There is more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine people who are already saved."
Then He told them another part to this parable. He said, "If a woman has ten pieces of silver and loses one, wouldn't she light a candle and sweep her house very carefully until she finds the coin? Yes, she would. And when she finds it she will call her friends and her neighbors and tell them to be happy with her because she has found the coin which was lost."
Jesus then said, "There is joy among the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Jesus wanted the people to know the special meaning of these parables. He knew that He was sent from Heaven to be the Savior for all the world. If He never spoke to sinners then they would not know that God loved them. They would not know that they could be saved and go to Heaven someday. Jesus wanted everyone, even Pharisees, to be happy when a sinner came to Him.