Once again, I consider today part one of a two part look at three parables. After spending time reading through Jesus’ parables, I feel like the three parables that I am looking at today and tomorrow have the theme that can be found in all the parables; Jesus was very direct in His message about His purpose here on earth. Just yesterday, I was talking with a friend about how beautiful it is to read about Jesus’ life on earth. Through the ages, God had been drawing humanity to Him, and Jesus’ presence on earth became the culmination of God’s yearnings. Jesus lived a life that demonstrated God’s absolute desire to have a relationship with us, and I feel that all the parables He told showed that all consuming love. He wasn’t condemning people to put them in their place; He was showing the flaws we have in our relationship with God so we could have a healthy, vibrant faith.
Jesus began telling these parables because the Pharisees and teachers of the law were mumbling, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them,” (verse 2). Knowing this, Jesus told these parables; please read verses 1-10 today. In the first parable, Jesus tells of a shepherd that loses one sheep and he leaves the other sheep to find the lost one. When he finds the sheep, he puts it on his shoulder and tells his friends and neighbors to rejoice with him because the sheep was found. Jesus also tells of a woman with ten silver coins and loses one. She cleans every corner of the house until she finds the coin and tells her friends to rejoice with her because she finds the lost coin. Jesus then tells of how there is so much rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents.
Have you ever taken the time to truly reflect on that? Have you ever noticed how beautiful that is? God loves you so much and desires to be with you so much that all of heaven rejoiced when you turned to Him! That is incredible! Jesus wasn’t justifying His actions for the Pharisees; He was simply explaining His mission. He spent time with the “sinners” so He could draw them to Him. He went out and sought them! Jesus commissioned all of us to do the same in Mark 16:15 when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Standing on a corner and preaching at people wasn’t the way Jesus did it; He spent time with people and shared a meal with them. He listened to them and loved them. Jesus sought us out and brought us to Him.
Jesus wants us to do the same. We need to proclaim the message of His love, but we need to do it in love. I am challenging myself today to look at the people around me and think of how much rejoicing there will be in heaven if they choose to accept the grace God has already extended to them. How can I tell them about His love?
Are you showing God’s love to others?