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Bible verses about Parable of the Lost Sheep
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 18:1

The disciples ask Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Thinking that He was about to set up a great temporal kingdom, they want to know who would hold the primary offices and posts of honor and profit. Mark informs us that they had disputed this subject while traveling (Mark 9:34). Jesus asks them what they had been arguing about. Luke adds that Jesus perceives their thoughts (Luke 9:47). The disciples, conscious that Jesus is aware of their dispute, are at first embarrassed into silence, but they eventually ask Him to decide it for them. Jesus' reply are the parables found in Matthew 18:2-14.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of the Millstone and the Lost Sheep


 

Matthew 18:7-9

A Christian's potential is so fabulous that he must do whatever he can to ensure it. No matter how important they are to us, we must abandon any worldly attachments, friendships, and employments that will lead us into sin, or we will receive eternal judgment. Of course, Jesus' illustrations of cutting off a limb or plucking out an eye are not literal, but He wants us to understand the stakes. It is far better to attain to eternal life without enjoying the pleasures of sin than to enjoy them here in this life and be lost. Thus, Jesus emphasizes that we must remove temptation and avoid sin at all costs.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of the Millstone and the Lost Sheep


 

Matthew 18:10-11

The explanation of why we should not despise weak Christians relates to the care Christ gives to them. First, God's angels watch over and aid His followers. Some of the universe's highest and noblest beings, who enjoy the favor and fellowship of God, minister to even the most obscure Christians (Hebrews 1:14)! They are that precious to God.

Second, Christ Himself came to save the weak (I Corinthians 1:26-29). He came in search of the weak and base that were lost, found them, and redeemed them according to God's great purpose. They may be obscure and little in the eyes of the world, but they cannot be objects of contempt if Christ sought them and died to save them.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of the Millstone and the Lost Sheep


 

Matthew 18:12-14

To demonstrate further the reason why we should not despise weaker Christians, Jesus illustrates the joy one feels when a lost possession is found. A shepherd rejoices over the recovery of one of his flock that had wandered away more than over all that stayed with him. Similarly, God rejoices when a person who has gone astray from His truth turns back to His way of life. In like manner, we rejoice most in our health when we recover from a serious disease. We rejoice more over a child rescued from danger than over those who were never at risk. We rejoice more when property is saved from fire or flood than when all was well and we took it for granted.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of the Millstone and the Lost Sheep


 

Luke 15:3-7

This parable results from a statement made by the scribes and Pharisees, "This man receives sinners and eats with them" (Luke 15:2). As the end of Jesus' public ministry neared, the downtrodden, the despised, the lowly, and the sinful were drawn to Him. They were sincere in their desire to be raised out of their poor condition and genuine in their desire to follow Him, and He publicly identified Himself with them. Unlike the Pharisees, these sinners knew they were sinners and needed to be saved (see Psalm 119:176).

By this parable, the Pharisees stood condemned, and so they found fault with the godly work Jesus Christ was doing. Their criticism implied that Christ allowed these sinners in His presence because He was like them in character. They never understood that He allowed them in His presence to save them from their sins, as Ezekiel had prophesied (Ezekiel 34:11, 16).

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Luke 15 (Part One)


 

Luke 15:3-7

In a similar parable in Matthew 18:12-14, Jesus describes God's care over the least and little ones. In this parable in Luke, He magnifies divine grace to the lost, showing that God desires their recovery and salvation. The Bible contains many prophetic references to the One who would be the Ideal Shepherd (Psalm 23:1), the Perfect Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:11-16), and a Savior who would see the multitudes as sheep having no shepherd or, even worse, a worthless shepherd (Zechariah 11:16-17). Christ claims for Himself the title of the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14). In Luke's illustration, Jesus seeks the lost sheep, sinners who desire to change because the Good Shepherd gives His life for those who repent. He desires to save them, give them His Holy Spirit, and help them through a life of overcoming that ends in eternal life.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Luke 15 (Part One)


 

Luke 15:4

The lost sheep knew that, without the instruction and the care of the shepherd, it was lost. Nevertheless, because of curiosity, it strayed, wandering away from the shepherd (James 1:14). The lost sheep represents the foolish and thoughtless wanderer from God to whom He says, "Do not listen to anything that will lead you away from Me and My truth" (see also Ezekiel 14:11). The caution in Proverbs 19:27—"Cease listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge"—is not just for children but for the well-educated adult who instead listens to the ungodly teachings of those who feign knowledge (II Timothy 4:3-4). How often have Christians allowed themselves to be enticed away by their own intellectual vanity? God corrects this type of person's straying by allowing the curse of his sins to fall upon him.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Luke 15 (Part One)


 

Luke 15:5-7

Just people need no repentance because they need no change of mind and purpose. Some people were reared in a godly and righteous family environment. Their parents obeyed and worshipped according to God's laws, statutes, and ordinances, and taught their children to do likewise. The Gentile Cornelius was one such man (Acts 10:1-2). Of course, no human being is completely just (Ecclesiastes 7:20), but he may be righteous in comparison to those who flagrantly sin, such as those succinctly described in Luke 15:1. A just person cannot repent of the idolatries of a pagan, which he has not practiced, nor of the larcenies of a tax collector, of which he has never been guilty. When comparing just people to flagrant sinners, we immediately see what Jesus means: These needed no repentance in comparison to the others, not being guilty of such gross sins.

There is more immediate joy over a sinner who repents and follows Christ than over those who are already repentant and safely within God's flock. The latter already have greater and more intimate happiness—eternal joy!—within the Family of God. Faithful members should be elated by the fact that their Shepherd loves and cares for them so intimately. And for the one who strayed, upon genuine repentance, there is hope of salvation.

Martin G. Collins
Parables of Luke 15 (Part One)


 

 




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