The Searching God
Open your heart to God and pray with the psalmist, “Search me, O God and know my heart” (Psa. 139:23).
Read Luke 15:1-10
 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat do we learn about God in these two parables?
Jesus is surrounded by irreligious people who didn’t have moral lives but were magnetically drawn to him, desperately wanting to listen to him. In these two parables, Jesus does something quite extraordinary. In the culture of that time, shepherds were the butt of jokes; they were the lowest in the social pecking order. As Jesus begins his teaching it sounds like the start of a well-known shepherd joke. The unfolding story implies that God is like a humorously irresponsible shepherd—he loses one of his 100 sheep (cue laughter and shock) and goes out desperately searching for that one sheep, leaving the other 99 behind. What joy he experiences when he finally finds that one lost sheep! Adding to the dismay of the religious listeners he next portrays God as a woman down on her hands and knees searching for a coin she has lost on the floor. God loves lost people so much that he is prepared to search for them at great cost to his dignity, and when he finds us there is exuberant rejoicing in heaven. What a God we worship!
Meditate on the great love of God for you. Let it lift your spirit and evoke thanks and praise to God.
Thank God for loving you so much as to forgo his dignity to find you and bring you home to him.
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