When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

– Luke 15:6

When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’

– Luke 15:9

‘…for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ They began to celebrate.

– Luke 15:24

There are two ways of experiencing “lostness”: subjective and objective. In this chapter, subjective is the experience that the lost one has (i.e. me). Objective is the experience that the possessor has (i.e. God).

Most of us see in this parable the experience of the younger son. He’s certainly the one I tend to identify with the most. But we need to identify with the experience of the father also, for the parable is more about him. Jesus being the one telling this story, He is the one who identifies with the father, not the son. He was never lost Himself, but He seeks the lost (19:10). He does not suffer as a result of His own waywardness, but because of our waywardness. When he describes the father’s joy at the son’s return, He is describing His joy.

When I have God’s interest at heart, I will also want to see the lost found, not just to see them rejoice in their “foundness”, but to see God rejoice in one who was rescued from death. May I not be like the prodigal’s older brother.


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