Suggested further reading: Philippians 2:5-8
Our Lord's enemies criticized him for welcoming sinners
(vv. 1-2). Our Lord took up their reproach and showed by his parables that
he was emphatically the sinner's Friend.
Our Lord's three parables are all meant to illustrate one and
the same truth. They all throw strong light on Christ's willingness
to save sinners. Christ's love is an active, working love. Just as
the shepherd did not sit still bewailing his lost sheep, and the woman
did not sit bewailing her lost money, so our blessed Lord did not sit
still in heaven pitying sinners. He left the glory which he had with
the Father, and humbled himself to be made in the likeness of man.
He came down to the world to seek and save that which was lost.
He never rested till he had made atonement for transgressions,
brought in everlasting righteousness, provided eternal redemption and
opened a door of life to all who are willing to be saved.
Christ's love is a self-denying love. The shepherd brought
his lost sheep home on his shoulders rather than leave it in the
wilderness. The woman lit a candle, swept the house, searched
diligently and spared no pains till she found her lost money. And just so
Christ did not spare himself when he undertook to save sinners (John
15:13; Heb. 12:2).
Christ's love is a deep and mighty love. Just as the
shepherd rejoiced to find his sheep and the woman to find her money, so
does the Lord Jesus rejoice to save sinners. It is a real pleasure to him
to pluck them from the burning. His whole life was devoted to this
end. It is still his delight to show mercy.
What encouragement our Lord holds out to repentance!
(v. 10). However wicked a man may have been, in the day that he
really turns from his wickedness and comes to God by Christ, God is
well pleased. God has no pleasure in the death of him that dies, and
God has pleasure in true repentance. An open door is set before the
sinner. A free pardon awaits him (1 John 1:9).
For meditation: Christ loves sinners before they repent. It is
not repentance that causes him to love, but love that causes men