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I Can See Clearly Now


Luke 15 1-10

Do you see these?(Glasses) These are a wonderful thing because they help me to see things more clearly. Without them things are distorted…fuzzy…blurry and that can cause serious problems.

Do you see this (Bible)? This is a wonderful thing because it helps us to see things more clearly. Without it, things often get distorted…fuzzy and blurry.

God wants us to see things clearly…because when we have a distorted view of things, when things are blurry, we sometimes are not motivated to do what God wants us to.

This morning, let’s look at the passage that was read and hopefully see some things clearly the way God sees them.

If you would, look at verse 1-2 again and let’s read them.

1 Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him (Jesus) to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes {began} to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

The Pharisees and the scribes were jealous of the following and the attention that Jesus was getting.

And Jesus responds to their accusations with 3 stories in an effort to get them to see more clearly.

Let’s look at the first story starting in verse 4 and notice, the first story is for the men.

Look at what he says:

“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? “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 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.

Now, this story may seem a little strange to us because, for most of us, we cannot imagine a sheep being worth all the bother.

And notice it says that the man “goes after the one which is lost, until he finds it.”

And when he found the sheep he simply said, “I found my sheep.”

The passage says that when he found his sheep he put it on his shoulders, “rejoicing.”

And then Jesus says, “Now, a story for the women.” Verse 8:

“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?  “And 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.”

Ladies, that coin is not some quarter that falls out of her change purse.

But there was another possibility.

You don’t put a monetary value on something like that.

And it is a big deal to find it.

These things mattered.

Then, after Jesus told the story for the men and the women, He told a story for everyone.

The younger son takes his inheritance and goes to a “distant country.”

And as he is approaching home…his father sees him.

His father runs down the road to meet him…and the father embraces his son…and kisses him…and calls for a robe…and sandals…and a ring.

Now, what is it that we need to see clearly from these 3 stories?

One is something that I think we need to be reminded of…and the other is something that I fear we are afraid to do….or maybe the first one is so unimportant to us that we aren’t motivated to do the second.

Let’s begin with the first one…First of all I think God wants us to see the “truth in regard to separation.”

You take that sheep from the first story for example.

If you look through your Bibles at some ways that this word is used and you find it is the word the disciples used when they were on the boat that was sinking in the storm and they said, “Master, don’t you care that we are perishing?”

It is a terrible thing to be separated from the One to whom you belong

And yet that is exactly what the prophet Isaiah says that our sins have done.

Now, I say that because today, there seems to be a tremendous reluctance among us to talk or to use the word “lost.”

In churches there is a real effort being put forth to stress God’s grace…and to get us in churches of Christ to “rediscover His grace”.

And it is this idea of lost-ness that puts the church in a different business than every one else.

But only the church is in the business of recovering the lost.

But there is also another idea in this story that we seem to be afraid of or maybe we don’t feel the need to do this because we don’t understand what it is to find that which is lost.

A basic point of each story is the description of the rejoicing that goes inevitably with finding.

The older brother, when he hears about the feast and the rejoicing is upset at the joy of the father.

And the father responds to the son, by saying, “Son your brother was lost and he is found. Your brother was dead and now he is alive.”

That word, “we had to” be merry in the Greek is one of the strongest words in the gospel of Luke.

If God says He must be merry when someone is saved…shouldn’t we?

We are to be God’s example to those around us.

Several years ago, my daughter went to Germany…was gone for just under two years.

How do we make those who have left home…and who have come back…feel?

God wants us to see clearly. To help us He gives us His word.