The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 112

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 6

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

Parable of The Lost Sheep

The tax collectors and sinners kept gathering around to hear Yeshua, and the P’rushim and Torah teachers kept grumbling. “This fellow,” they said, “welcomes sinners – He even eats with them!” So He told them this parable:

This fellow … welcomes sinners …! All three parables in this chapter deal with God’s love for the open sinner who repents.

“If one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, doesn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he does find it, he joyfully hoists it onto his shoulders; and when he gets home, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Come, celebrate with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who turns to God from his sins than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.”  [1]

The sheep metaphor echoes Ezekiel 34. Righteous people who have no need to repent, literally, “who are such as to have no need to repent.” There is joy in heaven over an open sinner who obviously needs to repent and does so at last. But there is also joy over those who have maintained a condition of righteousness by always and regularly turning to God in repentance (1 Yochanan 1:9), who do not need the complete and soul-shaking experience of repentance which a lost person, a lost sheep, often goes through when he turns to God from a life pattern of sin. Yeshua does not regard the grumbling P‘rushim and Torah teachers to whom He is speaking (v. 2) as having maintained such a condition of righteousness; so He is trying to shake their mistaken supposition that righteousness can consist in following a set of rules apart from genuinely trusting God in one’s heart.

Parable of The Lost Sheep

“Another example: what woman, if she has ten drachmas and loses one of these valuable coins, won’t light a lamp, sweep the house and search all over until she finds it? And when she does find it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Come, celebrate with me because I have found the drachma I lost.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy among God’s angels when one sinner repents.”  [2]

A Greek drachma was approximately equal to a Roman denarius, a laborer’s daily wage.

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Luke 15:1–7.

[2] Luke 15:8–10.

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