Journal Luke 15 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him (Jesus).
And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.
So (Jesus) told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and goes (sp) after the one that is lost, until he finds it? AND when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing? AND when he comes home, he calls his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine “righteous persons” who need no repentance.” Luke 15:1-7
Observation: Heaven has a certain temperament towards repentant sinners; a different exhibition of temperament about the self-righteous.
Analysis: This parable is not about the ninety-nine so much as it is about the one, lost and wandering. In fact, from my perspective, it isn’t even about that (the one): It is about the Shepherd who exercises sovereign, elective choice to find the one who was lost.
That’s me. Blackhearted, undeserving me. He came after me—and if I am being honest with myself, he shouldn’t have—I don’t deserve to be redeemed.
That is why it is Grace. Irresistible in power.
Isaiah says: “You shall be a crown of beauty in the Hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the Hand of your God. You shall no more be termed ‘Forsaken’ and your land shall no more be termed ‘Desolate,’ but you shall be called ‘My Delight I in Her, and your land ‘Married;” for the Lord delights in you and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” Is 62:3-5
The Shephard found the sheep—so shall the Lord your God rejoice over you. It is (and should be) humbling to consider that. If I am not, something is out of kilter…
Prayer: Father, it is difficult to stir up myself, by way of reminder, of the mighty Grace you have employed over me, to bring me on your shoulders to your household. I fail to remind myself; I fail to remind my friends, I fail to declare your Kingdom to strangers.
Help me get the sequence right, according to the circumstance, according to your Word and direction.