Skip to main content

Insights We Can Learn from the Book of LUKE Chapter 15

The Three Parables about "Lost"

The Book of Luke chapter 15 has received a lot of attention from Bible commentators because it discusses three different types of lost: The Lost Sheep (verses 3-7), The Lost Coin (verses 8–10), and The Lost Son, commonly known as the prodigal son (verses 11-32). We will learn lots of things from the various commentaries on this chapter that we did not know beforehand. This chapter can be relevant to either the current state of the world or the condition of churches.

The Situations Within Churches

We can see that many people are "in-and-out," and this describes them as occasionally interested in attending church or occasionally uninterested, particularly if they are so busy with other aspects of their lives that they do not have time for it. The phrase "in-and-out" refers to the parable of The Lost Sheep, in which the sheep can hear, walk, and see but cannot communicate verbally. The sheep can hear, walk, see, and hear, but since it is obviously an animal and has life, it cannot speak. The sheep are free to roam around to the point where they will be lost on their own without assistance. Although the sheep can walk, they are unsure of how to get back home. This is comparable to the "in-and-out" members of the church. They are the kind of individuals that need someone to reach out to them wherever they are so they can return to the church, even though they are capable of anything because they are not actually sheep. They are the type of individuals who, despite being able to walk, lack the knowledge necessary to prevent them from leaving the church. They require a church representative—pastors or whoever it is—to lead them back to church.

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.  – Luke 15:4-5

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. – Luke 15:4-5

The Light We Need

Along with those who frequently attend church, there are also those who do not attend any churches and have no knowledge of Jesus or the Bible at all. These people remind me of the parable The Lost Coin from the Bible, who thought they were not spiritually lost but actually were. In the parable of the lost coin, the woman searched her entire home with the light of a candle and was overjoyed when she discovered the coin. This woman is a representation of every member of the church who shares the gospel, through Bible studies or other religious ministries, with the people who are still in the dark and do not know about Jesus or even the Bible. The light on the candle symbolizes Jesus. Jesus is the Light of the World, and those who follow Him will not walk in darkness but in the Light of Life (John 8:12 NKJV).

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  – John 8:12

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” – John 8:12

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. – Luke 15:20

Jesus is our only Way, Truth, and Life.

The Prodigal Son parable metaphorically refers to anyone inside or outside the church who has become spiritually lost through engaging in worldly pursuits, refraining from returning to church due to numerous negative experiences, or being overly preoccupied with their own personal lives. This parable may not only discuss issues within the church, but it may also discuss the spiritual lives of every person in the world, whether they know Jesus or not. We should never lose the free salvation Jesus gave to us; it was given to every one of us immediately after He died on the cross to deliver us from the slavery of sin.

In the end, the son who abandoned his father's home in order to travel the world and indulge himself with all of the money his father had bestowed upon him discovers his grave error. He even humbled himself by saying, "How many of my father's hired servants have plenty of bread, yet now I am starving to death?" I will get up and head over to my father, where I will tell him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your presence, and I no longer deserve to be called your son." "Make me like one of your paid servants." In Luke 15:17, the phrase "But when he came to himself..." makes it clear that the Holy Spirit helped the son realize that material possessions are only temporary and that he should return to his father. In this verse, the father actually represents the Heavenly Father, who patiently waits for us to return to Him. The son got to his feet and returned to his father. But even though he was still on the right track, his father swiftly gave him a hug and a kiss as soon as he saw him. The fact that his son had returned to him made his father very happy (Luke 15:20). Jesus is represented as the great way referred to in Luke 15:20. Jesus is our only great way that we need in order for us to go back to our Heavenly Father whenever we are spiritually lost.

Instead of granting the request of his son to become one of his paid servants, the father instructed his servants to bring their best robe, a ring for his hand, sandals for his feet, and a fatted calf to celebrate his long-awaited return. The significance of the four items that the father instructed his servants to bring is found in the Bible. The robe represents the "robe of righteousness" that only comes from God. The ring is a representation of the "wealth" we have in Christ. The sandals that the son must wear signify that he is to be treated as a "son," not as a slave or a servant (Wierenga, 2015). This means that God gives us sandals so that we can be treated as His children. In this parable, the fattened calf represents happiness and celebration in anticipation of the long-awaited return of someone.

Conclusion

This world we live in is filthy, immoral, and completely dark. When we are lost spiritually, we need Jesus as our light. No matter what, Jesus is the only way, the truth, and the life. Luke 15 clearly demonstrates the deep meaning behind "spiritually lost" in three parables: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and The Lost Son (aka the Prodigal Son). Every time a single sinner repents, the angelic hosts will be very joyful (Luke 15:10). The Heavenly Father will be overjoyed if even one lost soul returns to Him, just as the shepherd, the woman, and the father were. Because we are all His beloved children, we are all eligible for free salvation and eternal life (Romans 6:23).

© 2022 Gloria Loise Ocariza