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.