of Kingdom Living
Jesus had been teaching about motives and attitudes which
produce true Kingdom living when the Publicans and Sinners
came to hear Him; but the Pharisees and Scribes found fault
with Him because He was consorting with sinners.
Jesus answered them with this parable. It consists of three
parts: the Lost Sheep; the Lost Coin; and the Lost Son.
The lost sheep can be seen as being in the outer court; the
lost coin in the holy place; and the lost son in the holiest.
1. The Lost Sheep Luke 15:3-7.
There were one hundred sheep which were part of a sheepfold
under a shepherd. Our Lord is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14),
the Great Shepherd (Heb 13:20), and the Chief Shepherd (I
Peter 5:4) of this flock.
One of these had wandered into the wilderness, or outer court,
and was lost. This is a place where we can grow; where we
are tested to become rooted and grounded in Him; a place of
beauty and strength. It may also be a lonely place of hardship
and trials. It depends upon our attitude, how we perceive
what God is allowing at this time in our lives.
Matthew 26:31 says, "Smite the shepherd and scatter
the sheep." Many shepherds have scattered the sheep.
As a result, some sheep have isolated themselves, and have
become a law to themselves. In Luke 19:14 they said, "We
will not have this man to reign over us." The Lord says,
"I will give you Pastors according to My heart, which
shall feed you with knowledge and understanding."
Some are lost through foolishness. There are two Greek words
used to explain this. The first, "Aphron" signifies
without reason, a reckless and inconsiderate habit of mind.
The second, "Moros" means morally foolish; a lack
of character. A failure to mature and develop in the ways
Others stray through ignorance, that is, a want of experiential
knowledge. But thanks be to the Lord, the Good Shepherd searched
until the lost sheep was found.
II. The Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10
The woman represents the Church. She is spoken of in Eph
5:31. "This is a great mystery, but I am speaking of
Christ and The Church." She has lost something of value.
She had ten coins, perhaps part of a dowry given as a pledge
of her wedding, a gift. The Holy Spirit has given to each
of us a dowry, a gift and gifts, as part of the pledge of
the full inheritance.
The woman lost the coin in the house, or in the dimension
of the Holy Place. The temple was referred to as the House
of God 1 Kings 8:1-11. Christ is over His house, the Church.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
This coin was lost through carelessness or negligence. She
too had become lazy and took the Lord for granted. "Woe
to those who are at ease in Zion." To live is to grow,
and to grow is to change. Consider the other side of the same
coin. Luke 10:38-42, Martha is so busy that she has become
distracted, anxious and worried about her service. Like so
many who put their service "for the Lord" before
their relationship "to the Lord," Mary had chosen
the better part. There is a balance between waiting and serving,
both are a necessary part.
Let us consider some other words in the story.
a. The number ten represents man's responsibility
to pass God's test. Our walk in this life
will be tested.
b. The light: The Holy Spirit works in the
believer. He leads us into all truth, He
enlightens us and gives illumination.
c. The lamp: The Word is a lamp (Psalms 119:105).
She had become negligent in the Word.
d. Sweeps the house: Gets things in order again.
"Beloved, having these promises let us cleanse
ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and
spirit perfecting holiness."
e. Seek diligently: The Greek says, carefully,
relentlessly, from top to bottom. She applies
herself where she had been lazy and careless,
until she finds the coin.
The outer court is the place of salvation. This second dimension
is the Holy Place, a Spirit led and controlled life.
III. The Lost Son Luke 15:11-24
The younger son has been called the prodigal, but in reality
the elder brother is the prodigal. Apostasy begins in the
heart, long before the fact. So it was with the younger son.
People begin backsliding when their hearts have forsaken their
Note the attitude of the younger son. "Give Me;"
until much later when there has been repentance. He then says,
"Make Me". There was a problem of relationship.
He wanted to be his own master, not under the control of his
father. This is an attitude found in many of God's people
The lack of discipline and commitment to the will of the
father. Discipleship means a disciplined one. We must learn
to discipline ourselves, or be disciplined. Christ demands
In the matter of obedience, Jesus said, "I do always
the things that please my Father." There must be a coming
into alignment with the Father's purposes and objectives.
He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children
of Israel. He found in David a man after God's own heart.
He makes Him self available to all who desire to know Him.
The younger son wasted his inheritance, and found himself
all alone in a far country. As he was feeding the swine, he
came to himself and said, "I will arise and go to my
father." The father eagerly waited for his son, to restore
and reinstate him to the father's house.
We are being qualified for Sonship, to be placed in the Kingdom
as mature sons, the Sons of the Kingdom. It is of great importance
that we rightly respond to the Lord, and to His dealings to
bring us into a right relationship with Him.