Sermons by Pastor Walter Snyder plus announcements, articles, videos, and anything else that doesn’t fit Ask the Pastor or the Luther Library.

11 September 2016

Pentecost 17 Sermon: Seeking the Sheep

Preached on Luke 15:1-10
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost — Proper 19C
11 September AD 2016

Title: Seeking the Sheep (MP3 Audio)

Luke 15:10 Summary: Physicians are surrounded by sick people but we don’t call them disease-ridden. Attorneys meet regularly with criminals but that doesn’t automatically make them felons. Morticians deal daily with the dead but that doesn’t mean that they are corpses. But let Jesus sit down with low-life sinners and watch the judging begin.

In response, Jesus told His parables of the lost sheep, coin, and son. Today, we hear Him speak of the joy that a shepherd knows when he finds his lost sheep or that a woman has in recovering her missing coin.

He tried to show the Pharisees and scribes that these “sinners” were every bit as dear to the Lord as were the most righteous of Israelites. As much as any of these paragons of virtue who challenged Jesus’ choice in dining companions, so the “tax collectors and sinners” were also among those the Psalmist called “the people of [God’s] pasture, and the sheep of his hand. (Psalm 95:7)”

When we’re feeling the weight of our own transgressions, we need to know that we’re the same sort of sinners whom Jesus chooses to receive. And when we start standing in judgment over others, we need His reminder that we are no holier than the most wicked of sinners. Our Shepherd loves each of us dearly — but He doesn’t appreciate our acting as if were any less in need of rescue than are any other sinners.

Luke 15:5 Text: Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 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 that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:1-10

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Seeking the Sheep.

NB: A few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio with Windows Media Player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.

Other Readings: Psalm 119:169-176; Ezekiel 34:11-24; 1 Timothy 1:(5-11) 12-17

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