(e.g. john 8 32)

Luke 15:4  (King James Version)

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Topical Studies
<< Luke 15:3   Luke 15:5 >>

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 15:3-7

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 15:4-10

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 15:4

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)

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Luke 15:4:

1 Peter 5:1-3


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