Luke 15. Forum Discussion

Repentance

Chapter 15 is comprised of three parables:

  1. The Parable of the Lost Sheep.
  2. The Parable of the Lost Coin.
  3. The Parable of the Lost Son.

We will look at each of these during today’s lesson, with a focus on repentance.

Repentance means, “To turn away.” In the world of Christianity, it means turning away from sinful, self-serving behavior, and turning towards God. A repentant soul focuses on serving God and others, not themselves. Sometimes we may repent of our sins right away. For other sins, the process can take years. Even though God is patient, we do not want to wait to repent once we become aware of our sins. The Bible teaches us that none of us know what tomorrow will bring (James 4:13-14), and none of us know when the Lord will return (Mathew 24:36).

There is a relationship between repentance, baptism, and confession. While today’s lesson is on repentance and not baptism or confession, our study would be incomplete without mentioning the following two scriptures:

  • Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” - Acts 2:38.
  • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9.

(For more on the topics of baptism and confession, please see Virtual Bible Study’s™ forum discussions on Mathew 3, and Mathew 16 respectively)

Repentance is one of the most important commandments in the Bible. The words, “Repent,” and, “Repentance,” appear more than 100 times throughout the Bible. Here are a few of the scriptures that talk about the importance of repentance:

“Therefore repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.” - Acts 3:19.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” - Mathew 4:17.

“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.” - 2 Peter 3:9.

“Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent.” - Acts 17:30.

“Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” - Romans 2:4.

“When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” - Acts 11:18.

“I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” - Luke 13:3.

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP- LUKE 15:4-7

In today’s first parable, Jesus is addressing the Pharisees and the scribes who were giving Him a hard time saying:

“This man received sinners and eats with them.” 

Jesus responds to them in Luke 15:4-7:

“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? 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 which was lost!’ 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.”

God knows that we are all sinners and that from time to time we all can get lost. Just like in this parable, when we “come home” and put God first in our lives, heaven rejoices. 

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN – LUKE 15:8-10

In today’s second parable, Jesus says:

“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

This parable compliments the first parable nicely. When we get lost in sin, we can “come home” by deciding to turn away, or repent, from the sins in our lives that contradict God’s commandments. When we do, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God.”

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SON – LUKE 15:11-32

In the third and final parable of today’s study, Jesus says:

“A man had two sons.  The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.  And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.  And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.  But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!  I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;  and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;  for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.  And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.  And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.  But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;  but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

In this parable, the lost son believes that his sins are so bad, that he is no longer worthy to be called his father’s son. He believes that the only relationship he can salvage with his father would be to return as one of his servants. He underestimates his father’s love. When the father sees his son returning in the distance, he runs to him, embraces him, and kisses him. The father then sends for the best robe to be taken to his returning son along with a ring for his finger, sandals for his feet, and the best calf to be prepared for dinner. 

All three of these parables involve somebody or something that was lost. Have you ever heard somebody say that their sins were, “So bad” that God could never forgive them? That simply is not true. Do not underestimate the love of God. As it says in 1 John 1:9:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Do not ever feel that you are too far-gone to be forgiven. Like the lost son’s father, your Heavenly Father is waiting, hoping that you will return to Him, and ready to rejoice with the angels when you do!

Thank you for joining us today. Please join us again tomorrow as we look at Luke 16. We will be studying about, “Greed, God, and money.” May God’s blessings be upon you until then.  Amen

Comments

Michelle

Thankyou Lord that no matter how many mistakes or how bad the mistakes were you are a Faithful and loving father. You have always been there , I have came so far from where I use to be , I am truly grateful.

Reply
John
Michelle

Amen Michelle!

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