Vol. 19, No. 34 – September 6, 2020
Chapter 14, conclusion: Being a disciple of Jesus Christ.
12. Discipleship tested; be ready to give up everything for Christ, Luke 14:25-35, (continued).
Even though salvation is free, being a disciple of Jesus is costly. Four costs are noted:
1) Putting family and self in lesser priority than Jesus, vs. 26.
2) Bearing your own cross, vs. 27.
3) Understanding the costs of following Him, vs. 28-32.
4) Renouncing all that we have, vs. 33-35.
In the two analogies for determining the cost of discipleship, (i.e., carrying your cross daily), the second analogy is the cost of going to war. Just as the first analogy of building a tower used a business analogy for the building up and protection of your soul, this analogy of warfare speaks to the protection of your soul inside the Angelic Conflict.
Luke 14:31, “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand?”
In this analogy, the first “king,” BASILEUS, represents the believer who is a member of the Royal Family of God.
“Sets out to,” is the Verb POREUOMAI that means, “to go, depart, travel, etc.,” in the Present, Middle Deponent, Nominative. It speaks of our “meeting,” SUMBALLO, our adversary, “another king,” HETEROS BASILEUS. Here we have the Aorist, Active, Infinitive of SUMBALLO that only Luke uses in his gospel and in the book of Act, which has several meanings from, “to ponder,” Luke 2:19, to “confer or converse,” Acts 4:15; 17:18, to “help,” Acts 20:14, or “dispute or quarrel,” as here. Its main meaning is to engage, either positively or negatively.
Here, it is in the negative realm as the engagement is “in battle,” POLEMOS, “war, battle, fight.” In the Gospels, it is used for the prophecies of the end times with “wars and rumors of wars,” Mat 24:6; Mark 13:7; Luke 21:19, then it is predominantly used in Revelation for the Fallen Angels of the Tribulation who make war against mankind, Rev 9:7, 9; 11:7; 12:7, 17; 13:7, 16:14; 19:19; 20:8. Therefore, we see this analogy as warfare against our great adversaries; Satan and sin, which we battle with every day. As such, we are talking about the Angelic Conflict that we are a part of as believers in Jesus Christ.
The wisdom factor here is to “first sit down and consider,” PROTON KATHIZO and the Future, Middle Deponent, indicative of the Verb BOULEUOMAI that means, “deliberate, consult, consider, to take counsel or advice, to plan or plot, to resolve or decide, and to determine or purpose.”
Prov 20:18, “Prepare plans by consultation, and make war by wise guidance.”
In the sense of “consult,” you are seeking out the Word of God resident within your soul by the power of the Holy Spirit to determine a solution. The thing you are deliberating in your mind is “whether or not you are strong enough,” EI EIMI and the Adjective DUNATOS from the Verb DUNAMAI, which comes to mean, “having power, mighty, capable, or possible.”
In that self-deliberation, you are considering the strength and power you have, “ten thousand,” DEKA CHILIAS, “to encounter” HUPANTAO, “to meet, come against, or oppose,” “the one coming against him with twenty thousand,” HO ERCHOMAI EPI AUTOS META EIKOSI CHILIAS. Here, the believer is outnumbered two to one.
The fact is, a smaller army can win a war against a much larger force, but it takes planning, training, motivation, and courage. The king in the smaller army had better be sure he has all these factors in his favor and has planned out his strategy accordingly.
Being outnumbered 2 to 1, may seem like a daunting task. But, when you have Jesus on your side, which means the filling of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God resident within your soul, it is not. When you have the power of God in you, the odds are always tipped in your favor, and you will be victorious. Yet, if you do not have the Word and Spirit within you, you will be defeated experientially.
Notice here, the enemy is coming against you and is invading your territory which you must defend. By analogy, this is Satan and sin attacking your soul at opportune times. These are the “flaming missiles of the evil one” from Eph 6:16. That is why we have been given the “full armor of God,” so that we can “stand firm,” when we pick it up and put it on. That means we are to take in the Word of God daily and consistently and be filled with the Holy Spirit. So, before you go out to do battle with Satan and Sin, first determine if you have enough power, (i.e., the Word of God and the Holy Spirit ruling your soul), to defeat the enemy. If you do, then engage. If you do not, then seek out God through His Word to strengthen you!
Luke 14:32, “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”
“Or else,” DE EI OUK, “but if not,” tells us that this is analogues to the believer who realizes they do not have enough power and strength to defeat the enemy, (i.e., not enough Bible Doctrine in the soul), Here, we are also to use wisdom in discernment to determine if we have enough Bible doctrine in our souls to defeat Satan and sin. This is key for the new or spiritual immature believer.
“While the other is still far away,” ETI AUTOS EIMI PORRHO. PORRHO, “far away or far from,” is only used here, and in parallel passages of Mat 15:8; Mark 7:6, which is a quote from Isa 29:13.
Mark 7:6, “And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me’”.”
In our passage, it means, “Before the next bout of sin or sin temptation comes your way, you are to prepare for when it does.”
“He sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace,” APOSTELLO PRESBEIA EROTAO HO PROS EIRENE. In human terms, this is asking for a settlement to be made with the enemy. But in the spiritual realm, there is no settlement with Satan and Sin, (unless you desire to fall into carnality, reversionism, or apostasy). In addition, they will never have terms of peace with you. But, there is a way to find peace and that is through the person and work of Jesus Christ as found in His Word. Therefore, to have “terms of peace,” means to have Bible Doctrine / God’s Word / the mind of Jesus Christ, resident within your soul as you build the ECS and gain Mastery of the Details of Life and have a Relaxed Mental Attitude in all situations. When you do, you will be at peace in all situations of life, even when the enemy is coming at you full on.
Therefore, Jesus is emphasizing the need for the disciple, those who are following Him, to consider what is involved in going to war against Satan and the ways of the world. These two parables together teach us that discipleship involves both building and fighting for the management, protection, and experiential victory of your soul. Anyone desiring to follow Jesus should consider carefully the requirements and consequences of doing so. You need to be aware of the resources which are available to you and be ready to use them, Eph 6:10-18. Unless you are willing to “count the cost” and commit everything to Christ, you are apt to fail in the endeavor.
Luke 14:33, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
Here, for the third time in this lesson, Jesus emphasizes that the commitment He requires is not easy and has a cost, as the conclusion reverts back to being a disciple, MATHETES, of Jesus Christ. He has said we must have in lesser priority our loved ones and ourselves to the degree that we do not let them hinder us from following Him. Secondly, we must carry our own cross: Walk daily in God’s Plan for our lives. And now, Jesus adds that we must forsake, renounce, and cease depending on what we have. The point is to avoid an emotional attachment to money or possessions. It is a matter of priorities!
To be a disciple, we must “give up all our possessions,” APOTASSO PAS HO HEAUTOU HUPARCHO. The key word here is the Present, Middle, Indicative of the Verb APOTASSO that means, “say farewell, withdraw from, or take leave from.” So, you can see that it has both a mental and physical connotation of departing from something or someone. It is used seven times in the NT. For six of them, it concerns “saying farewell or taking leave.” But, in our passage, it means, “to renounce,” and signifies the mental separation from something; that being our “possessions,” HUPARCHO, “all that we have or possesses.” Notice that this word is a compound word from HUPO, “from which something comes,” and ARCHO, “first,” in rank or rule.
Therefore, this means you have to be willing to mentally give up that which has first rule over the mentality of your soul, whether it is things or thoughts. As such, you do not have to literally sell or give away all your material possessions. But, you do have to have the mental attitude that those possessions are not priorities in your life, and Jesus is. This reinforces the pervious message of “hating,” MISEO, “making as a lesser priority,” your family than Jesus is in your life, vs. 26.
“Such requirements, when followed, will do away with all halfhearted service to Christ, and cause His disciples to surrender to Him their possessions, desires, plans, ideals, affairs, and interests. This does not mean that Christian’s are to sell everything they possess in order to live for Christ. Neither does it mean that one should withdraw from the world. Such actions miss the point of Christian living entirely. What Jesus is calling for is that we so commit ourselves to Him that we become spiritually and mentally free from worldly-mindedness, frivolity, covetousness, and selfishness. Then we are free to serve Him without reservation.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary).
The “all,” PAS, in this passage, means every thought and every material thing in your life. Therefore, Jesus must be the priority in your life if you are going to be His disciple. As such, we must gain control over our Old Sin Nature, (OSN), the “old man,” so that it is not ruling our souls. We overcome the OSN by means of the Word of God resident within our souls plus the filling of God the Holy Spirit. With these two power options simultaneously working within your soul, you will make Jesus a priority, as He is the Word of God. An added benefit from doing this is the great relationship you will have with Jesus, along with the relaxed mental attitude and peace within your soul, as you come to master the details of life, have love for God, Man, and your spouse, and share in the happiness of God, (+H). Therefore, in terms of your possessions, commit them to God’s service, whether they remain in your possession or not. Hold everything very loosely!
Luke 14:34, “Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?”
This principle is used in Mat 5:13, right after the “Beatitudes,” that speak of how the disciple of Jesus should think and operate, so that they can be blessed as “lights of the world,” and Mark 9:50, which teaches about how to overcome false teaching and false doctrines in our lives, so that we can continue to be effective witnesses in the spiritual life. In our passage, it also has to do with being a disciple of Jesus Christ, as we just learned.
“Salt” is the Noun HALAS that is only used here and in Mat 5:13; Mark 9:50; Col 4:6. It is used as an analogy to the believer, as in Mat 5:13 and Mark 9:50, and as a characteristic of the believer who speaks with grace.
Col 4:6, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”
In our passage, salt is “good.” “Good,” is the Adjective KALOS that can mean, “beautiful, good, excellent, advantageous, or noble.” This is a description of the believer who is a true disciple of Jesus Christ. In classical Greek, it originally denoted that which was “useful, suitable, or functional.” Over time, it developed moral and ethical nuances in addition to its earlier definitions. In Luke’s use, it represents that which is useful as a disciple of Jesus Christ with high moral and ethical character because of the Word of God resident within the soul due to the construction of the Edification Complex of the Soul. When we build up our soul with the Word of God and apply it, we are then useful as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Yet, if our salt “becomes tasteless,” it means the believer is not operating as a disciple of Jesus, and is not having an impact on the world around them. It is the Greek Verb MORAINO, μωραίνω in the Aorist, Passive, Subjunctive that means, “make foolish, become foolish, make tasteless, become tasteless, or insipid.” Both forms of the definition are in view, as when the believer does not become a disciple of Jesus, he or she becomes foolish and operates as a fool inside of Satan’s Cosmic System. It is used only in Mat 5:13; Luke 14:34; Rom 1:22; 1 Cor 1:20.
This word is used for the fool, the unbeliever, who rejects God’s Plan of Salvation and instead worships human, physical, and/or material things in idolatry. Rom 1:22, “Professing to be wise, they became fools (MORAINO).”
1 Cor 1:20, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”
The Passive Voice; says that the believer receives this action, because they did not build the tower of their soul, (ECS), and did not guard their soul to be victorious inside the Angelic Conflict. They did not build their soul with the Word of God.
The Subjunctive Mood; goes with the “if” statement, EAN, which makes this a “Third Class if statement,” “Maybe you will or maybe you will not.” Here, it has the emphasis that depicts what is likely to occur in the future; what could possibly occur, which is losing your “saltiness,” that means you “become tasteless.” In other words, you do not become a disciple of Jesus Christ.
Our Lord then states the tragic logic, “with what will it be seasoned?” This uses the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb ARTUO, ἀρτύω that means, “season (with salt).” It is only used in Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34; Col 4:6. Therefore, if salt loses its particular flavor of saltiness, how would it regain its flavor? The answer is, “It cannot.” In other words, this is a warning to believers that if you do not become a disciple of Jesus, how can you be effective witnessing the gospel of Jesus Christ to others? The answer is, “you cannot.” In addition, if you were going forward in the Plan of God and then stopped and entered into reversionism, it will be very difficult, if not impossible to regain the discipleship you lost.
“The salt signifies the influence which a life consecrated to God brings to an otherwise barren world. Salt which is mixed in the food cannot be seen, but one can taste it. Such is the case with the salt of the earth. Often the influence of a Christian may reach far beyond that which is seen or heard.” (Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)
“The Christian life is to be lived in the world where it can bring seasoning to those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Salt was a precious commodity in the time of Jesus. Jesus shows how the Christian is to use his influence to improve the quality of living for all men, just as salt draws out the best in food to which it is applied. When Christians fail to influence others to live a more dedicated life, they fail in one of their greatest opportunities and responsibilities. No Christian should allow careless or worldly living to lessen his witness for the Lord. Just as salt itself cannot be seasoned with anything, there is nothing that can make up for the Christian’s losing his influence on others. There is nothing greater than salt to which the salt itself could be subjected for seasoning effect. There is nothing greater than Christianity to which the Christian can turn to have his withered witness renewed.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Luke 14:35, “It is useless either for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The stark reality of salt that has lost is savory is that “it is useless,” is the Present, Active, Indicative of the Verb EIMI with the Adjective EUTHETOS, εὔθετος that means, “fit, suitable, or usable.” This linked to the negative Adverbs OUTE, “neither – nor, and not.” This tells us that the believer who does not become a disciple of Jesus is useless to the Father for any service. EUTHETOS is only used in Luke 9:62; 14:34; Heb 6:7.
It is used in the negative sense of not being a disciple in Luke 9:62, “But Jesus said to him, “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”.”
It is used in the positive sense for being a disciple in Heb 6:7, “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God.”
In our passage, it is also in the negative sense of choosing not to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. When a believer or unbeliever chooses not to be a disciple of Jesus, it results in consequences for others, which is further emphasized here in two ways: “Useless either 1) for the soil or 2) for the manure pile.”
“For the soil,” EIS GE, “land, earth, ground, soil, region or territory,” may indicate this person will not be a good witness to their fellow countrymen. But, in ancient times, conquering armies would spread soil on the ground of their enemies so that nothing would be able to grow. In this analogy, it means that the disciple also has a role of reproving and rebuking their fellow countrymen, which they would not be able to perform if they did not become a disciple of Jesus. Therefore, they could not be used by God to preserver them and their nation.
“For the manure pile,” EIS KOPRIA, “dung, manure, manure pile.” It is only used here and Luke 13:8 for a form of “fertilizer.” Here, salt was used as a preservative for the manure, so that in the future it could be used for fertilizer. It speaks of the future impact the disciple would have on their fellow countrymen to teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Word. Therefore, manure is the fertilizer that helps plants grow, which is analogous for the Word of God that you would not be spreading to help souls grow!
In addition, we have the personal consequences of not being a disciple of Jesus, “it is thrown out,” AUTOS EXO BALLO. This reminds us of the casting out of the unbeliever into the “outer darkness,” (i.e., the Eternal Lake of Fire), for not believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior, Mat 8:12; 22:13; 25:30; cf. Mat 13:50; John 15:6.
Mat 8:12, “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
But, in our passage, we are talking about the believer “being cast out” who does not become a disciple of Jesus Christ. For that believer there are consequences of the three stages of Divine discipline, 1 Cor 11:30, where the third stage is God taking them home under the “sin unto death,” discipline, (i.e., “sleep”). Because they are useless for discipleship, God may remove them.
Our Lord then finishes this discussion with “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” It uses the Verb AKOUO twice. First in the Present, Active, Infinitive, “to hear,” and then in the Present, Active, Imperative of Command, “let him hear.” AKOUO does literally mean “to hear a sound,” but also is used to mean, “learn.” Therefore, our Lord is giving an imperative to learn from these object lessons about the cost of being a disciple, so that we can be successful ones.
Our Lord used this phrase quite often to draw the listeners’ attention to the subject He was speaking about, so that they learn and believe, cf. Mat 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Luke 8:8; 14:35; Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6; 13:22; 13:9.
“Some Christians today are guilty of the sin of sermon listening. They listen to what God’s Word tells them, shake the preacher’s hand and tell him it was a good sermon, and then go out and forget what they heard. Jesus emphasized the fact that such a response to what He has said will not do. There must be a total commitment to Him and obedience to His Word.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary).
“Therefore, Jesus offered two analogies to illustrate conscious, eyes-wide-open commitment. Both depict people making all-or-nothing decisions before proceeding. Jesus didn’t want foolhardy promises; fickle disciples do more harm than good to the cause. No, He wants only those who take on the hardships with a reasonable understanding of the cost. Following Jesus requires we renounce everything we have: our relationships, our desires, our lives, our possessions, everything. None of it will have a hold on us, only Christ. None of it will command our top loyalty, only Christ. None of it will keep us from serving Christ. To follow Jesus as a disciple means we exchange the entire world for that kingdom to come:
- Am I willing to place in less priority all other relationships to receive the love of God in Jesus Christ?
- Am I willing to die to my own desires and plans to live by God’s will for me?
- Am I willing to surrender all my possessions to receive God’s kingdom? “
(Christ Centered Commentary)
IV. The Repudiation of the Son of Man by Men, Luke 9:51-19:27.
I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.
13. Concerning God’s love for sinners, Luke 15:1-32.
a. The Parable of the Lost Sheep, vs. 1-7.
b. The Parable of the Lost Coin, vs. 8-10.
c. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, vs. 11-31.
As we begin this chapter, we will see that there are six reasons or motivations to repent, either for the first time unto salvation or as a lifetime of turning to God in fellowship post-salvation. In these parables, we will see the difference between loss and redemption, and separation and reconciliation.
a. The Parable of the Lost Sheep, vs. 1-7.
Luke 15:1, “Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.”
“Tax collectors,” TELONES and “sinners,” HARMTOLOS were two groups scorned at by the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, that Jesus particularly sought out so that He could save them. This group also sought out Jesus, as we see here in, “were coming near to Him,” EIMI ENGIZO AUTOS.
The reason they were coming near to Him was to “listen to Him,” AKOUO AUTOS. This picks up where Jesus left off in Chapter 14, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” This means to learn through the ear gate, which is what these despised groups were doing. They came to learn what Jesus was teaching, as the good disciple should do!
Luke 15:2, “Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them”.”
Because of this, the self-righteous religious leaders, “Pharisees,” PHARISAIOS, and “Scribes,” GRAMMATEUS, “began to grumble,” which is from the Imperfect, Active, Indicative of the Verb DIAGONGUZO, διαγογγύζω that means, “grumble, complain aloud, or murmur.” It is only used here and Luke 19:7, in the NT. It is a compound word from DIA that is an intensifier here, and the Verb GONGUZO that also means, “grumble, murmur, mutter, or complain.” So, this is an intensified complaining and grumbling by the religious leaders.
Luke 19:7, “When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner”.”
Their intensified complaint about Jesus was that He, “receives sinners and eats with them,” PROSDECHOMAI HARMATOLOS KAI SUNESTHIO AUTOS. SUNESTHIO, “eat together,” is used here and in Acts 10:41; 11:3; 1 Cor 5:11; Gal 2:12.
As we have noted, the designation “sinners” implies a disregard for the Law of Moses and the traditions of the Jewish elders. It could also be a general reference to those with low sexual morals, perhaps involved with prostitution, and a tendency towards drunkenness and carousing, cf. Luke 7:34. The tax collectors were doubly despised, as IRS agents are today, for they collaborate with the hated Roman occupiers. As such, this group was perceived as religiously fallen and politically traitorous.
In the Septuagint (LXX), SUNESTHIO is used for David who said in Psa 101:5, he did not and would not eat with the slanderer, proud, or insatiable. David’s words are in keeping with the Middle Eastern custom that equated table fellowship with companionship, friendship, or acceptance, cf. Gen 43:32. David did not want to be associated with these sinners, thus he would not eat with them.
This same sentiment is seen in its use in the NT. Peter had to answer to the Jerusalem brethren concerning his eating with / acceptance of the Gentiles, Acts 11:3. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their lax stand with the immoral brother and thus commanded them not to “even” eat with an immoral brother, 1 Cor 5:11. Paul also rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy for eating with and then not eating with the Gentiles when the Jewish brethren showed up in Gal 2:12. Each of these usages shows the implications of friendship or acceptance in the Eastern concept of table fellowship or “eating together.” Sharing meals with someone was a powerful symbol of acceptance in the ancient world.
Yet, the Pharisees were wrongly and unjustly upset with Jesus because He “received” and “ate with” sinners, i.e., accepted them. Jesus presents a paradox: the Righteous One involved with the unrighteous. It was this seeming contradiction that caused the Pharisees and Scribes to grumble about Him. But the fact is, Jesus came to save the sinner, and therefore accepted them in His presence.
“These verses point out the cultural bigotry that was in operation at this point. The Pharisees and the scribes were the “ins” of the society. They were perceived by the people as religiously upright and politically patriotic. The tax collectors and sinners, on the other hand, were the “outs”.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Jesus responded to their criticism by telling three parables. All three deal with things that are lost and then found: a lamb, a coin, and a son. Jesus was piling up these parables about being lost to get to His main point in the third parable: the attitude of the self-righteous elder brother toward his newly restored younger brother.
Luke 15:3, “So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?””
Jesus begins to correct them by teaching another “parable,” PARABOLE, about the “lost sheep,” APOLLUMI PROBATON. The only time Luke uses PROBATON is in this parable. This parable is also noted in Mat 18:12-14. This is a figurative use of sheep, as Jesus is using it in analogy to people.
This also presents a “shepherd,” analogy which is one of the best illustrations of God’s love for mankind.
The logic here is that if one is lost, (i.e., without salvation or entered into reversionism), you “would leave,” KATALEIPO, the other “ninety-nine,” ENNENEKONTAENNEA, (used only in this parable, twice each in Matthew and Luke), “and go after,” POREUOMAI EPI, “the one which is lost,” HO APOLLUMI, “until you finds it,” HEOS HEURISKO AUTOS.
Jesus knew that this rhetorical question would rattle around in the minds of His listeners, as each one would absolutely leave the flock, (the 99), and search until the wayward lamb was found. As they would come to understand, the reason the shepherd goes out to search diligently for the one that was lost is because he feels the loss of that one. Therefore, he is compelled to go find him, just as God is compelled to seek out every member of the human race to come to repentance for salvation, especially as the owner of their soul.
The worst thing is not to be a sinner, but to be a sinner who thinks God does not value you. The fact is, God attaches value to every soul. That value is seen in the Cross of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we turn to God, we discover that God was not out to crush us because of our sin, but to save us from it and thereby making us His own. The Lord is not willing to accept the loss of one human soul. No one is disposable, not even the foolish who wander from the flock.
Luke 15:5, “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
“When he has found it,” KAI HEURISKO, “he lays it on his shoulders,” EPITITHEMI EPI HO OMOS. OMOS is only use here and Mat 23:4, for the legalism of the Pharisees put onto others.
Mat 23:4, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”
Here, the shepherd does not drive the lamb back to the flock, drag it back with a noose around its neck, or throw it into a bag with a good scolding. Instead, the shepherd lovingly places the dear animal on his shoulders, draping its legs around his neck with its soft head nuzzling his ear. His attitude was not one of reproach over the carelessness which resulted in the lamb’s separation, but of rejoicing over the reunion and restoration of the one lost.
Therefore, we see the contrast, as the Pharisees place a heavy burden of works for salvation on the shoulders of their constituents, while Jesus unburdens them and puts them with their burdens on His shoulders to give them salvation.
As a result of saving the lost sheep, the shepherd / owner “rejoices,” CHAIRO. His joy was so great that not only did he rejoice himself, but he wanted to share it with others. So, he calls together his friends and neighbors, inviting them to rejoice with him.
Luke 15:6, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
“And when he comes home,” KAI ERCHOMAI EIS HO OIKOS, “he calls together his friends and his neighbors,” SUNKALEO HO PHILOS KAI HO GEITON. This is analogues to the angels in heaven. When Jesus brings a believer to heaven, (i.e., home), He summons the other believers in heaven and the elect angels to “rejoice with Him,” SUNCHAIRO. The reason He calls others to rejoice with Him is because, “He has found His sheep which was lost!’” HOTI HEURISKO PROBATON EGO HO APOLLUMI.
“A story is told that Francis of Assisi once saw a mountain shepherd in the Alps risk his life to save a lost sheep. Francis was so overwhelmed with what he saw that he cried aloud: “O God, if such was the diligence of this shepherd in seeking for an insignificant animal, which probably would have been frozen on the glacier, how is it that I am so indifferent in seeking my sheep?” The diligence and love of Jesus’ shepherd must surely have pricked the callous hearts of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees, if they possessed any sensitivity whatsoever.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Jesus then summarizes in real terms the application of this parable, “I tell you that in the same way,” LEGO HUMEIS HOUTOS, “there will be more joy in heaven,” HOTI EIMI, (in the Future Indicative), CHARA EN HOURANOS, “over one sinner who repents,” EPI HEIS HARMATOLOS and the Verb METANOEO. This phrase is also used in vs. 10, in the following parable of the Lost Coin, and is the sentiment of the father of the returning prodigal son in that parable. Therefore, the “lost sheep” is identified with a sinner, thus representing in the current situation the sinners and tax collectors with whom Jesus was fellowshipping.
The point is: Everyone must see him or herself as a lost sheep, a lost sinner, who needs a savior.
This rejoicing is noted in comparison to the, “than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance,” E, (particle of comparison), EPI ENNENEKONTAENNEA DIKAIOS HOSITIS OUK CHREIA ECHO and the Noun METANOIA, “remorse, repentance, turning about, change of mind.”
Mat 9:13, “But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,” for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Mark 2:17, “And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners”.”
Luke 5:31-32, “And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”.”
Luke 24:46-47, “And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem”.”
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
The fact is, everyone needs repentance. The Pharisees and Scribes with their legalistic adherence to the Law thought that their issue of salvation was already resolved through their human good works, but it was not. The 99, being part of the flock here, which represented the Pharisees and Scribes does not condone their self-righteousness, but shows the love of God the Father and Jesus Christ as the Good and Great Shepherd, John 10:11, 14; Heb 13:20, who looks to save everyone. Unfortunately, their self-righteousness prevented them from seeing and appreciating it. Nevertheless, Jesus was trying to break down the barrier, (i.e., remove the veil / their blindness), so that they could see it.
John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.”
Overall, this is the attitude we are to have; a passion for souls and a spirit of rejoicing when we see lives changed by the gospel. We too should be like the restless, searching shepherd, whose labors resulted in heavenly rejoicing over the sheep that we find.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-091, 20-092 & 20-093
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!