"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." (Luke 15:1-2)
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus gives three parables. In each of the parables, something was lost, then was found, and rejoicing followed upon the recovery.
There was a lost sheep. (Luke 15:3-7)
There was a lost coin. (Luke 15:8-10)
There was a lost son. (Luke 15:11-24)
Jesus teaches that He has come to seek and to save those who are lost in sin!
The Pharisees and the scribes could not grasp the mission of Christ. They condemned Him because He hung out with sinners, and dined with them.
It was not that Christ condoned the lifestyle of a sinner, it was that He understood that they would abandon that lifestyle if they were saved!
Jesus had compassion upon the "Hairy and Unwashed", because He knew they were being held in captivity of the devil. If they came to Him, He could set them free.
The Pharisees and the scribes had no concept of this, and were blind to the fact that they also were sinners, and needed Jesus as there Savior.
It would be hard to pick a favorite from these three parables, so let's just look at the first one.
THE LOST SHEEP
A man owned a hundred sheep! ((v. 4) (God has right of ownership of every one, because He created us in His image. Satan has stolen mankind by the introduction of sin.)
One had wondered away from the fold, and He went looking for it! (v. 4)
He found it, and placed it upon His shoulders! (v. 5) NOTE: He did not kick it all the way home, He carried it home on His shoulders.
He called all friends and neighbors to come over, and they had a celebration! (v. 6)
Jesus said, "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." (v. 7) Those words were directed at those pious Pharisees and scribes who did not think that they needed a Savior.
Take some time today, and read the other two parables that Jesus taught, and are recorded in the 15th chapter of Luke.
Be careful not to overlook the loving Savior's response each time something is recovered. Pure joy!
From my heart to your heart.