Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode · 3 months ago

The Singing Savior

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Rev. Christian McArthur

Luke Chapter Fifteen, as we continue tomake our way through the parables and we'll be continuing and luke were inLuke fourteen last week and we'll be in Luke fifteen for the next few weeks,Lord Willing, Luke Fifteen, will begin in verse one now. The tax collectors and sinnerswere all drawing near to hear him him being Jesus and the Pharisees and thescribes grumbled saying this man receives sinners and eats with them. So he told them this parable. What man of you having a hundred sheepif he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety nine in the opencountry and go after the one that is lost until he finds it and when he has found it, he lays it onhis shoulders rejoicing and when he comes home he calls together hisfriends and his neighbors saying to them. Rejoice with me, for I have foundmy sheep that was lost just so. I tell you there will be morejoy in heaven over one sinner who were pence and over ninety nine righteouspersons who need no repentance or what woman having ten silver coins.If she loses. One coin does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seekdiligently until she finds it and when she has found it, she callstogether her friends and neighbors. Saying rejoice with me, for I havefound the coin that I had lost just so I tell you there is joy beforethe angels of God, over one sinner who repents this is the word of the word.You may be seated what causes you to rejoice?...

What causes you to want to throw aparty? What causes you to want to say what in life causes you to want todance? Perhaps that one was too far forPresbyterians, we'll go back to to singing but think about it. What in life makesyou want to celebrate? I mean we like to celebrate things, andrightly so. Perhaps your wedding day, if you're married,perhaps that's the moment in life that you thought. That was the time that Iwanted to celebrate the most a day where all cultures, it would seem,throw parties, feast, saying even dance. Perhaps a birth announcement we've hadseveral of those recently among us. Those are times that we celebrate. Perhaps you think, back to the day yourfirst child was born, and at that moment where, where youwanted to sing or cry, but rejoicing, we like to rejoice graduations birthdays, anniversariestimes that we celebrate yearly. What makes you want to rejoice, what makes you want to throw a party? I think, thinking about this, revealssomething about our hearts and a good way when we think about what we rejoice. What makes us want to celebrate? We geta glimpse into our hearts. Don't we again, we got a glimpse into what welove. Let me ask you this: What makes God rejoice what makes God want to throw a party...

...what makes God want to sing? Well, I want to consider that thisevening, as we look at our text, we'll take a look at these two parables,these two parallel parables- that that are probably familiar to many of you and as we do, I want to keep thisquestion in mind. What makes God rejoice and as we look at these parables, Iwant to want to break them up into three headings for this evening. One,the bitterness of the righteous to the rejoicing in heaven and finally, three the heart of God,the bitterness of the righteous the rejoicing in heaven and the heartof God. So over the next few weeks, we will bein the evenings, Lord Willing and Luke Fifteen, taking a look at some parablesthat are familiar, but the I, the statement at the beginning of ourparables this evening really sets up the the context for the rest of theseparables, including the Producta Sun that will be getting to next week, and this is this first verse. Now. Thetax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to him. Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes grumbledsaying this man receives sinners, not only that, but he eats with them. So right here before we jump into theparables, we are we're found with two very distinct groups of people. We have Pharisees and scribes on onehand we have tax collectors and sinners on the other.Man will consider both for a moment as we felt thought through the parablesthis summer, we've often come into contact with Pharisees and and scribes,and if we'll recall, these are Jewish...

...leaders, we get a odd taste in ourmouth when we hear pharisee inscribe, but these were men to be respected. Men with high social status, but alsomen with high religious status. Men who took the word of God very seriously,who knew the Tora, who knew the scriptures not only knew them butworked very, very hard to follow them. Men that would be respected men closelyassociated with the religious elites and, and rightly so. It would seem fromall outward appearances. Well, on the other hand, we have thecomplete opposite tax collectors and sinners, as we've thought about tax collectors.We know that these are individuals who make their living defrauding their owncountrymen, most of which have Jews that the Romans have recruited to tocollect taxes amongst their own people. These would be the worst of the worst,not exactly people that you would be excited to see. When you came aroundthe corner tax collectors and then centers is kindof a catchall category for people who, to some degree or another, we're nottaking the Torres seriously, specifically as it came to theceremonial laws and laws that kept them clean so that they might come to thetemple to worship. These folks did seem to care a whole lot about keeping thatceremonial cleanliness. So on one side right in the beginning,we have these religious elite upright folks, and we have the bottom of thebarrel sinners. We find here that these these Pharisees these scribes are...

...concerned, in fact bitter. It says orcomplaining that that Jesus would hang out with these kind of people. It says that they're drawing near tohim, it says that that he is eating withthem. People that are unclean, religiouslyspeaking, you would not want to eat with. It would contaminate you and then,if you were contaminated, you would contaminate. Others that you came incontact with would render you at least for a time on holy so to a certain extent, they're,justified and they're concerned. Aren't they and it says that they grumble? Interestingly, we know that word whenit's associated with with the Jews, as they were often grumbling in the OldTestament, because they weren't happy with how God was working well, we should keep that in mind.Perhaps, as these folks are grumbling they're irritated folks who have gone to great lengths tostay kosher, literally speaking and now they see Jesus hanging out withpeople who seem to have no interest and saying coacher no interest andfollowing the Tora, but when you think about rejoicing aswe started out with, what's what's kind of the opposite, you could think of, and perhaps grumbling complaining fitsthe bill, and I think that's exactly what we see here. These folks in response to JesusReceiving Sinners Act completely the opposite of how God ends up acting when he seeshis son receiving centers. Instead of rejoicing, they grumble instead of Joining Inn the celebrationof heaven...

...they exclude themselves from thebanquet. If you recall this is in the context oflast week's parable, where Jesus has come to leaders of the Pharisees andessentially said you know, you think that you're coming to this in timesbanquet, but you but you're, not you know who's going to be there wellsinners people who are socially outcast. Hesays the blind, the lame the crippled. So this is coming just a few versesafter that parable, and here we see, as we often do as Jesus teaches a parable,what he teaches starts playing out right in front of him, and that is whatis going on here. Well, in response to this grumbling,the grumbling of these righteous men, Jesus decides to tell a couple ofstories. It seems that he is not quite done, teaching them and that's good forus, because we need to hear the word as well this evening. So these parable speak of the rejoicingand heaven. So we have the grumbling of the righteous. Now, let's consider therejoicing of heaven. Jesus gives us two parallel parablesvery similar, as we can see the lost sheep and the lost coin. Let's, let'sconsider them together what man of you he begins in verse forhaving a hundred sheep if he lost one of them does not leave the ninety ninein the open country and go after the one that is lost until he finds it right off the bat. I don't know aboutyou, but my first thought is well. This doesn't exactly seem economic oreconomically expedient. You know that it's it's one percent of yourpossessions has been lost and you put...

...the rest at risk. That doesn't quiteseem how I would shepherd, but I'm not the Lord, so we'll see what he has. Ithink what we see here is that the Lord, often as we see, is not about economicexpedients is, he he's rarely seems to value the same things that we value.Instead, it would seem that the heart of thisshepherd is not expedients, but a heart set onseeking and saving that which is lost, which makes sense, as we put it in thecontext of the rest of the scriptures, especially as we know that Jesus isthis shepherd, so the shepherd goes out. He goes to look for this one that waslost and when he finds that he lays it onhis shoulders rejoicing now, I'm not sure where the image isfrom, but I have a picture seared in my head. I don't know if it was thechildren's Bible or there's paintings of this, but with this blond, blue eyed,Dutch, looking Jesus with this, like stuffed animal like lamb on his shoulders, it looks like avery peaceful scene, but I've done a little bit of reading about shepherdsand it would seem like what happens is is when a sheep gets lost. They go alittle bit crazy. They become obstinate because of their fear and and theydon't react well once they're off on their own to the kind instruction of ashepherd. What often has to happen is thatshepherd has to injure the law sheep in order to get them back to the pack ofthis situation of a sheep on a shepherd's shoulders is not necessarilya pleasant situation either for the sheep or the shepherd,...

...but here we find this shepherd going after this sheep having to dowhatever he had to do to get him on his shoulders and he does so what rejoicing this is a pleasant shepherd indeed a task that does not seem overlypleasant, but for the joy that is set in his heart. He endures it. So we man handles the sheep, maybe injures him who knows but getsthe sheep back to the pack and when he does, he does somethingquite strange again. We probably heard this parable over and over again, but let's think about it for a moment.He gets this sheet back this obstinate sheep that ran off from the pack and he calls his friends his neighbors,and he says it's party time. He says this one law, sheep who gotaway. I found it come rejoice with me it's time tocelebrate, for I have found my lost sheep interesting. He goes on to tell of this lost coin. What woman would not light a lamp andsweep the house to seek diligently until she finds this lost coin? Youknow we think about this as well. Why not sweep the house is a goodopportunity to clean it up. You've lost something but think about we're, not we're not thinking abouthardwood floors. Laminates we're thinking about a dirt floor right. Sheis causing a huge mess to find this lost coin that may be lostin the dirt. She is lighting a lamp. She is looking for this coin diligently.

This coin represents about a day's wage,is not a small thing to lose, but it's interesting that when shefinds it, she says it's time to rejoice. Let's rejoice over this lost coin. Shecalls her neighbors. She calls her friends, it would seem like any decent partywould cost more than this one lost coin that she found, and yet she calls every one to rejoice. So we have one percent of thepossessions this. This lost sheep, we have the one out of ten coins that was lost,not small things, but doesn't seem like the kind ofpossessions you throw a party over, and I don't think the story. Teller inthis case is trying to say that in and of themselves, these things are ofgreat worth. I mean Jesus has told stories about things of great worth.Hasn't he pearls of great price treasures in a field, but here we have a sheep and we have a lost coin and a shepherd and a woman willing togo to great links to find things that don't seem all that important kind of like the guest list from lastweek's parable right. If we think of this in context, sending out the servant to find who not to the rich neighbors but the poor, the lame the blind the crippled. So why does Jesus Tell Us theseparables? What what are we supposed to Glean from them? Well again, I think we need to considerthem in light of the context. Don't we that we need to consider them in thelight of the attitude of the scribes and the Pharisees who were grumblingbecause Jesus was hanging out with the...

...wrong type of people again, but we should also look clearly at thereasoning that Jesus himself gives us, and I think, if we hold these twothings, we can kind of see what Jesus is getting at. What does he? What doeshe tell us the end of the first parable he saysjust so. I tell you there will be more joy in heaven overone sinner who, repents than over ninety nine righteous personswho need no repentance or in the case of the coin. Just so, Itell you there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents well, there's a lot of theology tothink about here. Isn't there I mean one: how does this affect ourdefinition of repentance? In the case of these two parables, theylost sheep that had to be shouldered was repentant, a lost coin found and the dirt wasrepentant in his certainly must play into ourdoctrine of repentance right that God comes and finds us and causes us torepent by His grace. That's certainly a great truth that we should considerhere, but I think the main thing that Jesuswants to explain against considering the context of what Jesus says is thatJesus wants us to see this opposition between the grumbling of the righteous and the rejoicing of Heaven. It wouldseem like he has set these. In contrast, in contrast to the Pharisees and thescribes who are grumbling when Jesus receives tax collectors and sinners,people who seem like they wouldn't be a whole lot of worth and the Kingdom ofHeaven, God throws a party it's...

...interesting here. Jesus does anotherthing that would probably irritate the Pharisees. He peels back the curtain ofHeaven claiming that he knows what goes on and the Divine Council. He says youwant to know what happens at heaven when one of these sinners repents. He says, God calls the angels and saysit's time to go it's time to celebrate when a center is repented by the graceof God. There is a party in Heaven: The Music Kicks in people start dancing andsinging the party of the year breaks out over one sinner one tax collector,who repents, perhaps you think I'm going too farwith the party, but if we look a little bit further to the Producta son, it'sexactly what we see don't way if you'll recall the older brothers in the fieldand what catches his attention or he hears noise back home. Here's The music and the servants come out and tell themwhat Your Dad's, your dad thrown a party. The Grill is going. The fat athalf has been killed so that we can party, and then thefather comes out, probably sweating from dancing the YMCA and says come onin this party's, for you to your brother, who is dead, is now alive. It is fitting that wecelebrate to these righteous grumbling. That Jesus would invite thewrong kind of people. God is rejoicing over one sinner that repents. I think this shows us something reallyimportant. Doesn't it...

...it gives us a glimpse at the heart of God and that's what Iwant to consider for the last few moments this evening, as we have seen time and time again inthese parables. God goes after the wrong types of people. He invites people to dinner that wouldmake us really uncomfortable the poor, the lame the blind, thecrippled tax collectors sinners. He moves towards us with hospitality and kindness before weever turn toward him and that's what he shows us and going after these people.Isn't it that's what he shows us and going after people like us, people whowould never run to God, but he runs to us. We read from Romans five this morningduring the reading of the law and the confession of sins and assurance ofpardon that, while we were still far from God, while we were stillunrighteous at the right time, Christ died for us, God and His grace leaves the ninetynine and while we are yet lost sheep andlost points, he comes after us. He finds us bysending his son to take on our humanity to find us where we are and by his spirit, gives us the graceto repent. We are the lost sheep. We are the lostcoin, but not only does God go after us andfind us...

...he does so rejoicing. I think that's where we see this thisheart of God. Let's look at it again. There will be more joy and heaven therewill be more joy in heaven over one sinner who, repents than over ninetynine righteous persons who need no repentance. That is God's heart for you, joy over our salvation over our repentance. You know, I think, often times we getin our heads that God was so gracious to save us, but now he just kind ofputs up with us that you know, for the most part, were just massive failuresand that he's just holding on until finally, Jesus comes and most of thetime we're thinking we're thinking, he's thinking, ohthey're at it again, they're doing it again. I mean I know I maybe I'm theonly one, but I think that's often how I feel God looks at me as a failure, but is that what we see here, a God who comes to save but would just put up with us for therest of our lives? I don't think that's what we see and to back up that claim. I want toconsider a text as we close that we actually opened our time with andZephaniah, and I want you to go ahead and turn there. The table of contentswas made for the minor profit. So it's okay to look at it, let's at the tailend of the Old Testament. I want to look atZeph and I a three and just consider it for a moment and how it might help usunderstand the heart of God this...

...evening. Zephania contains this prophetic poetry, most of it speaking of the comingjudgment over Jerusalem and the nations surrounding speaking of exile becauseof the disobedience of the people, it's a pretty heavy prophetic word, but butin the end we see this, this prophetic poetry speaking about afuture restoration. Interestingly enough, it talks abouthow God will restore the humble he will restore those who are outcasts and hespecifically talks about the lame and the crippled, and- and we see thisheart of God and this future restoration- that, after this judgmentcomes God, will himself save a remnant. We get to Zephaniah three verse,Seventeen and it says the Lord Yaaa, your God, is in your Mits, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will quiet you by his love. He will exult over you with loud singing the Lord, your goddess in your Mitts, amighty one who will save the Hebrew word for Savis is Jeshua from where weget Joshua or rendered in the New Testament Jesus. We could read this a mighty one whowill Jesus you and that's what we find in the new testament in the fulfilment?Isn't it that he saves us in his son and in that salvation, what do we findthat he will rejoice over you with gladness? He will quiet you by his love. He WillExalt over you with loud singing. There are some commentators who suggest thatthis word exult should actually be...

...translated. Dance. I don't know if wepresbyterians want to go that far, but but think about that he will exalt. Hemay dance over you with loud singing. Is this a God who thinks you're adisappointment? Doesn't look that way? Does it because in his son we are not when he sees us who have faith, he seeshis son and it makes him want to sing the beginning of our time. We asked thequestion: What Causes God to rejoice? What Causes God to sing? What causes? God, perhaps to dance you do what causes God to rejoice. You CauseGod to rejoice. What Causes God to want to throw a party. You do saving you when God got a hold of your life, hecalled the angels and he said Jackie repents it it's time to party. He said Christopher repents it andguess what I'm going to make him a pastor. You won't believe it every time. One of US repented, hecalled the angels said Ronald Repents, it it's time to party it's time to singit's time to dance and he continues to sing over us to rejoice in oursalvation. That is gas heart towards us. What Causes God to rejoice! We do what an amazing thought that we are not disappointmentss to God,far from it, but we are a great...

...treasure, a great inheritance, and that reminds us that neither arethose sinners who have repented, rejoices over them as well. Our repentance their repentance is an opportunity forGod to throw a party to call all the company of Heaven. We read from thesolemn ninety three this evening of how the ocean's roar that he causes that Imean he can throw a party. He can call all creation to singbecause of your salvation because of our salvation in Jesus Christ. May We feel the warmth of his rejoicingthis day in this week and may we share in the heart of Godand the rejoicing as other sinners like us come to repentance come to faith inJesus Christ. May We share his love with others as we go this week, let'spray.

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