Here was a young man who disrespected and dishonored his father only to have his father joyously welcome him back into the family when he came home. It is a good point. These objects – be they a sheep, a coin, or even a son – are valuable because of the value placed on them by the one seeking them. That point certainly correlates to the gospel message, for we might look at our own lives, our own rebellion, and our own sinfulness and ask the legitimate question, “What am I really worth?” To which God responds with a resounding, “The life of My Son.”
I have the unfortunate claim to fame of having been lost in a great variety of cities and town across the United States. Orlando? Been lost there. Los Angeles? Been lost there, too. Austin? Oh sure. Memphis? Most definitely. Atlanta? Right on. Oklahoma City? I once spent $30 on the toll road because I couldn’t figure out which way to go. Ruston, Louisiana? Yep. This last one is particularly embarrassing since Ruston has a population of approximately 21,000. In my defense, though, the roads are really curvy.
It’s an incredibly frustrating thing to be lost. By being lost, you find yourself losing other things: Time, patience, and self-respect, just to name a few. Fortunately, our phones are here to save the day, but perhaps you’re old enough to remember the embarrassment of standing in a gas station trying to find directions to your destination. Nobody likes being lost. And nobody likes losing things either.
But “lost” isn’t a bad word; it’s certainly a biblical word. In fact, it’s a word that cannot be separated from the identity of Jesus. The Son of God made it crystal clear that the His mission to earth is about the lost: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).