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Luke 15:1-10

2007-09-12 — So, what do the other 99 do while the shepherd goes looking? They go for coffee.

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BIBLE PASSAGE — Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” — Proper 19, Series C

comments

  1. Raymond Hollifield — 3634 days ago #

    When the shepherd returns with the lost sheep, the other 99 have now wandered away and this roundup job will be worse than the first. “A bird in the hand….” ??

  2. Jim — 3633 days ago #

    Exactly, and given the fact that there’s a Starbucks on every corner (some across from one another) those sheep could be ANYWHERE.

  3. RevDeb — 3632 days ago #

    I remember reading a comment somewhere that what was radical about this is that no good shepherd in 1st century Israel would abandon 99 sheep for the one lost one. That is how radical Jesus’ parables were—he turned things upside down. For him to say he’d look for the lost one shows God’s passionate love for all. (and confidence that all will eventually be found?)

  4. Christine — 3631 days ago #

    I think the sheep has got it wrong. No one is ever completely lost because God comes looking for us, whether we have wandered off of our own accord or got lost somewhere in the circumstances of life. The radical quality of God’s love means no one is forgotten or written off, even if those of us who think we’re OK sometimes think they ought to be! And don’t forget the shocking image that Jesus presents of the persistent God who can be seen in the woman’s searching – God seen in the feminine? Still unthinkable for many.

  5. Jim — 3618 days ago #

    Christine, my point is that Jesus acknowledges his critics’ claim of the “lost” condition of the sinner and then (in the story of the father and two brothers) challenges them to receive the repentant with joy or risk revealing their own alienation from the Kingdom of God.

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Copyright 1999 - 2004 James Wetzstein, except the bible of course. All rights reserved.