The Weekend Word
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
- Back to the little ones – he is preaching the same sermon
- Do we have individual angels in heaven?
- Angels are in the presence of God – Psalm 91
- We are given angels to watch over us
- God is always at work for us // you and me
- How much is through the church vs as individuals? (open question)
Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost
12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
- Read the Luke 15 version
- What is the correct answer? Heck no Jesus!!
- Are you out of your mind – put 99% of my assets at risk to save the 1%?
13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
- Go back to the Canaanite woman – who is the lost sheep?
- Jesus rejoices over little ones – women, Canaanite women.
14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
- Did the Jews expect a messiah who cares about all individuals vs a whole nation?
- Would that not be the comparison, that the individual is more important than the whole of the nation of Israel?
- No one is disposable to Jesus. Take heart individuals – Jesus cares for you, who think they are nothing (as in “no one cares about me.”)
If Your Brother Sins Against You
15 “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
- Today we FB or Tweet our issues with others.
- In the old days you went down to the tavern and told your buddies.
- But remember this – this is the New Israel and we are not just learning how to live in the kingdom with the king – but we are learning how to live with each other.
- The objective in this piece is to restore and gain a brother.
- I on the other hand, in my natural flesh – actually count them as anything but a brother and even to the point of a disposable person.
16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
- Keep working on him. – note that v 15 doesn’t say just once and bring in others. Go alone a couple of times and see if you can work it out.
- You can make a couple of efforts before involving others.
17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
- You still do not just write him off even though it is getting serious. You are still to work on him as to restore a brother.
- This is Jesus, through us as individuals and as the church, looking for the lost sheep.
- But if he still refuses to repent / believe, we now use the office of the keys and we withhold communion – he can still come to church to hear God’s word.
- How do you treat a Gentile or a Tax Collector? You preach the word in its 2 words – Law & Gospel.
- This is how the church works in the kingdom.
18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
- Who is this given to, leaders or all?
- Remember, or at least think about this – this is a promise from Jesus.
19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
- Here is Jesus amongst the New Israel gathering sinners to himself.
- This is the continuation of Jesus seeking all to be saved.
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
- This whole passage above is commonly considered to be about church discipline, but really should be subtitled “Repentance and gaining a brother.”
- “where two or three are gathered in my name” – I think originates with Exodus 20:24 – “In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you.”
- When we invoke his name, as we do at the beginning of each Divine Worship Service, he has promised to be there and to bless us – which is the forgiveness of sin he won for us at the cross.
This week’s lesson is very encouraging.
I’ve been a lost sheep most of my life.
Thank you MLD.
Thank you MLD.
Does verse 20 only apply to church, or anywhere we share the Gospel as individuals? For example a family bible study or simply sharing the Gospel with individuals in our daily lives?
Never mind. Stupid question. He is always pesent with believers. Jesus seems to say He will be with us in a special way where 2 or 3 are gathered in His Name. The context is church discipline, from what I gather.
Hi Joel – this must be the problem with books like the Shack – they distract from good Bible study.
You are correct the context of this passage is church discipline / reconcilliation.
But to your previous question, Jesus will be with us, in the places and manner that he has promised us. My concern iss that when the question comes up (not necessarily you) but people are looking to justify – ‘well Jesus is with me on the golf course this Sunday just as he is if I were in Church.’
This is not true – Jesus has promised to be with us in his word, the waters of baptism and through the bread and the wine – but he has also instituted the office of the ministry to carry out this function.
Without getting legalistic, I will just drop it there. 🙂
Who are these “little ones”?
Who do they represent today?
The little ones are children – infants – the babes.
Today they represent the children – infants – the babes.
When you check out the texts, the ones who many in the church are too young to have faith, the ones who are too young to receive God’s grace directly are indeed the ones who Jesus says are not only qualified, but we are to become like them – or no salvation for us.
My note above says to check the Luke 15 passage and in my class we went through that to see that Jesus saves not only uniquley but also unilaterally and that he compares the one he went out and found with repentance — how Jesus even repents us.
There is a verse I remember, but not where – in the KJV that states, turn me Lord and I will be turned. I love that.
So…does this represent all children?
How would they be kept from Jesus today?
Being kept from the baptismal font is one way — but I think you knew I would say that.
How about by deceiving them into thinking that having Jesus is their choice, but they need to be old enough to make that choice?
Can you help me with others?
I’m asking…would you say that doing anything that harms the welfare of a child is keeping them from Christ ?
Michael – perhaps I would, but I don’t think that was what Jesus was speaking about at that time in that passage – and as we all know, a Bible passage cannot mean something to us that it did not mean to the original hearers.
So lets draw this out…this passage says that each child has an angel and that angel is a conduit between God and that child.
The angel seems to advocate for the child in heaven.
Would you agree to that?
Just as Jesus advocates for us regarding the accusations of Satan these angels advocate for the souls of the children..
I’m very curious as to what those angels report in heaven when we refuse to give them sanctuary when they are fleeing poverty and violence.
Michael – they may report all the dastardly things – but as I said, I do not think Jesus is speaking about that in this passage.
I do not think it’s a primary application of this passage either…but allowable as a secondary one.
anything is possible except squeezing toothpaste back into the tube.
Not you, but I have seen people beat up their congregations with ‘allowable’ applications.
I do not think Jesus was making a political or social application at all. I think it was all are welcome into the kingdom, so do not prevent anyone – even the smallest of people from entering..
Again, the question comes down to how we define “prevention”…
MLD, why don’t Lutherans give Communion to babies and little children?
Xenia – some Lutherans have in the past and there is no Bible or church law against it. It becomes an issue of church order.
It seems like the consistent thing to do.
I have an honest question, if it is a general Lutheran practice to baptize a very young child, why is it a “Church order” issue to give that baptized child communion? Or, have I misunderstood what a “Church order” is?
Church order is just something the church decides to do so that there is order in the church instead of everyone doing any thing at any time.
So in this case we will baptize babies because God has promised to save those who are baptized. In the case of communion, which does carry actual forgiveness with it, the church has decided to run people through a catechesis program and have them confirm & confess that faith before approaching the table.
There is a distinction between baptism and the Eucharist. The Eucharist must be eaten in a worthy manner, following self examination, because it carries a serious warning. Therefore, catechesis is given before one may partake in the Eucharistic meal.
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”
This sounds like a serious warning too.