1. An important admonition is given in 2 Peter 3:18 -- the Lord's followers are to grow in the knowledge of Him. 2. Jesus gave an admonition in John 5:39 that will help us to achieve this growth -- "Search the Scriptures." 3. As Jesus fulfilled His ministry His primary work was teaching and preaching. 4. He often used parables to illustrate spiritual lessons. 5. In Luke 15 Jesus presented 3 parables to illustrate how joy is in heaven. 6. Before we study the Lord's parables, let us determine . . .
I. WHY JESUS PRESENTED THESE PARABLES
A. The situation that prompted Jesus to relate these parables is revealed in vs.1-2. B. Vs.1 shows how the publicans and sinners came to Jesus to hear Him. 1. Jesus came to save such people as these (Luke 5:27-32; 19:10). 2. Many publicans and sinners repented and became followers of Christ. C. Vs.2 shows how the Pharisees and scribes felt. 1. They murmured because Jesus received sinners and ate with them. 2. It is sad, but hypocrites have a way of trying to ruin good things that happen. D. To illustrate how joy is experienced in heaven when sinners come to the Lord, Jesus presented . . .
II. 3 PARABLES
A. #1: "The parable of the lost sheep" (vs.3-7) 1. Finding the lost sheep produced joy. a. (vs.5) The man who owned the sheep rejoiced. b. (vs.6) He called others to rejoice with him. 2. Jesus revealed His lesson in vs.7 -- the repentance of one sinner produces joy in heaven. B. #2: "The parable of the lost piece of silver" (vs.8-10) 1. Finding the lost piece of silver produced joy (vs.9). 2. Jesus revealed His lesson in vs.10 -- the repentance of one sinner produces joy in the presence of the angels of God. C. #3: "The parable of the lost son" (vs.11-32) 1. The return of the lost son produced joy (vs.22-24). 2. Unfortunately, the older son did not rejoice (vs.25-32). a. The Pharisees and scribes should have been glad when the publicans and sinners came to Jesus. b. They displayed the attitude of the older son.
1. The conversion of a sinner causes joy to be experienced in heaven. 2. This should cause us to: a. examine ourselves to determine if our lives are right with God b. lead someone else to the Lord.