Today, continuing with Jesus’ ministry and the New Testament. Let’s read Luke 14:25-35, Luke 15, 16, 17:1-10, and John 11:1-37. Remembering back to the Old Testament, do you see any qualities of God the Father in Jesus the Son? Oh, I hope that we can stop differentiating between the “God of the Old Testament” and the “God of the New Testament” – they are the same! Let’s read and come back together, share some highlights. Here we go:
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Luke 14:28 NKJV
The entire passage of Luke 14:25-35 is about following Jesus, being His disciple. Jesus encourages His listeners to consider the necessary commitment and then make a decision to be His disciple. He may not ask us to leave all we have, but we must be willing to leave all we have. Our devotion to Christ must be first.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” Luke 15:4-5 NKJV
Jesus is relentless in His pursuit, the Shepherd that the Old Testament talked about, one who would care and heal and bind up the broken. He wants us all to make it! It’s not wrong to leave the 99 – they had their community, they had their singular purpose – let’s bring back the one who needs us and bring that one back to the fold. What a beautiful visual.
We all love the parable of the prodigal son, of course. In this parable, the father represents God the Father – and its the only time in Scripture that he is described as running (Luke 15:20). Oh, how I love the visual that this brings to mind! Oh how He loves us! As He always did, from the original sin to the prodigal son to sending of a Savior, God always wants His children back. He always wants us restored. He always wants us to come home.
p.s. do you notice that the father does not ask where the prodigal came from? Did you notice that the shepherd did not ask the one sheep why he left or what he was doing? It is the same with us and God. There is no judgement, it doesn’t matter to Him where we came from or what we have done – He wants us to come home! He always wants us back. Only love. ❤