What Jesus Did! 'Listeners Rejoice!' — Luke 15:1-7

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people — even eating with them! So Jesus told them this story: "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.' In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!"
— Luke 15:1-7 NLT
Illustration of Luke 15:1-7 NLT — "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do?"

Key Thought

So often the chapter divisions in the Bible get in our way. Luke 14 ends with Jesus asking for folks to listen. Notice how Luke 15 begins with the sinners listening! They opened their hearts! They did it frequently and repeatedly. In Jesus' company, they found the hope of God. While the religiously self-righteous looked down on these "notorious" and "sinful" folks, heaven did not! Why? Because God is searching for seekers. God is looking for those who know they are lost and are looking for answers. God is longing to bring home the rebels who know they have blown their lives apart and are homesick for the love of God. Every sinner who longs to return, every lost soul who longs to be found, and every rebel who longs to return home, listen and rejoice! God is looking for you. God is longing for you to be found. God is planning a party to rejoice in your repentance, your return, and your restoration.

Today's Prayer

O God of wonders, marvelous in power and might and generous and gracious beyond our sinfulness, thank you! Thank you for grace, forgiveness, and cleansing. Thank you for the joy of salvation. Thank you for wanting me home. Thank you for the promise of heaven's joy. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 5:32
  • Luke 19:5-10
  • Acts 17:27-28

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.