The set up of this chapter is key. Jesus tells three stories of things that were lost and now are found. A lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Are that are lost are found. Great rejoicing happens for all that are found.
Listen to the set up:
All the tax collectors and sinners were gathering around Jesus to listen to him. 2 The Pharisees and legal experts were grumbling, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:1,2 CEB)
Luke sets the context well for us. It is simply this: there are people listening to Jesus that the religious people would have put in the category of ‘lost’. And you have the religious grumbling because Jesus welcomes sinners and eats with them.
It feels like this standoff has not changed much. I have so many soapbox stories I can tell, but it would not enhance, it would only distract.
Here is the story: the lost can be found. The lost are the ones that benefit from the Good News that Jesus brings.
Those that are stuck in their religion and can not see their need for the love of Jesus, therefore they miss out.
When we are mired in judgment, we can not accept the love that is offered to us. In other words, our religious judgment keeps us from offering love to others but it also keeps us from simply knowing love ourselves.
Jesus’ 3 stories of things that are lost and found remind us to locate ourselves as people that understand our need for God’s intervention and reminds offer hope for others that are lost, broken and in need of restoration.