Advent Bible Study

A Guide to Bible Study Methods Found in Scripture

  • Bible Study Books in Print

    Collection of books with Bible Stories and examples showing how to study scripture.

    Click here to see a list of Books in Print

  • List of Online Bible Study eBooks Available

    Advent Bible Study online eBook Store

    Advent Bible Study online eBook Store

  • Stories on the Gospel of Matthew now available as eBooks

    Short stories on the life and ministry of Jesus

    This Ebook series on Matthew contains more than 100 stories about the people Jesus ministered to as a set of downloads at a modest price.

  • Understanding Parables According To The Gospel Of Mark

    Jesus explains how to understand parables

    This book explains how Jesus taught simple lessons so His disciples could understand all parables and scripture with simple lessons a child can understand.

  • Jesus Teaches About Relationships

    There is a difference between a worldly relationship and one made in Heaven.

    Learn what Jesus taught about relationships established in Eden

  • Understanding the Hebrew Messiah

    The Gospel of Luke

    A book based on Luke's Gospel showing the work of God's Spirit in Jesus' ministry.

  • John Chapters 1-10 eBook

    An in depth look at Jesus' ministry from John's Gospel

    Learn how Jesus followed God's Spirit throughout His ministry.

  • The Tabernacle “T” is for The Cross

  • The Tabernacle, Temple, and Sanctuary: Genesis 1 to Exodus 27

    The Tabernacle, Temple, and Sanctuary: Genesis 1 to Exodus 27

    Series of books on the Tabernacle, its construction, the services and priesthood.

  • Prophecies Fulfilled Genesis to Deuteronomy and Joshua to Chronicles

    It makes sense to learn about the prophecies fulfilled before trying to figure out those still in the future.

    Understanding Prophecies Fulfilled is the key to understanding all prophecy. Stories, studies and study methods explained.

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 83 other followers

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 83 other followers

  • © Copyright 2009 – 2016 Dennis Herman

    Material may be copied and shared with permission at AdventBible@gmailcom. Please include the following information.
    © Copyright 2009 - 2016 Dennis Herman
    https://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    AdventBible@gmailcom

  • The Tabernacle, Temple, and Sanctuary

    A new verse by verse look at the Tabernacle

    1st in a new series of books looking at the Tabernacle just as Moses recorded the details.

  • 10% Off Print Books

    10% off Advent Bible Study Print Books discount code

    Click here to get your code for 10% off Advent Bible Study books in print only from CreateSpace

Lost Study: Luke 15

Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 5, 2010


Luke 15:1-7 KJV Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (3) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, (4) What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

What if the lost sheep refers to losing the ability to conduct a proper study method? This parable and other supporting texts covering the subject of lost sheep have spiritual overtones regarding the subject of understanding God’s word.

On the surface Luke 15 shows a clear connection between Christ’s followers and sheep. To find the spiritual meaning you need to dig deeper, praying for guidance from the Holy Spirit while using the Bible, a Concordance, and the key words to lead to a deeper understanding of the parable.

In this parable the Pharisees complained Christ kept company with sinners, and ate with them. Eating is spiritually linked to studying the word of God.

Jer 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

Deu 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

To answer their question Jesus told this parable about one lost sheep. Most sermons and studies I have heard describe sheep as stupid creatures unable to defend themselves. For the most part this statement may have a bit of truth with certain domestic sheep, but most regions in this world have wild sheep. Although this parable is clearly dealing with a lost domesticated sheep, we cannot forget the fact, sheep are equipped to defend themselves with their horns and hooves.

The man finds his lost sheep and carries it back on his shoulders. The sheep was able to walk away under its own power, but the man carries it back on his shoulder. Based on this fact many people assume it was a lost lamb, the word used to describe a young sheep. But God chose to use the word sheep. Because it is a little strange for a man to carry a full grown sheep. This indicates the presence of a deeper spiritual meaning.

Comparing this text to others about lost sheep, we find a consistent connection between a lost sheep and spiritual words describing the word of God.

Matthew 15:24-26 KJV But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (25) Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. (26) But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

We have already seen the spiritual connection between bread and the word of God. Matthew also provides a clear connection between lost sheep and the people Jesus came to save, followed by a spiritual reference to bread.

Jeremiah 50:6 KJV My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

In the Old Testament, Jeremiah wrote about sheep misled by their shepherds. The shepherd represents the priests and teachers. Mountains and hills represent people’s beliefs. Mountains also represent God’s power.

Exo 3:12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Psa 72:3 The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness.

Psa 125:2 As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even for ever.

Going from mountain to hill indicates people are turning away from God.

Surprising as it may seem the word shoulder is a very significant key word in this parable. The Bible contains many reference texts linking the word shoulder to other spiritual words pertaining to learning and knowing the word of God.

Shoulder

The word garment spiritually represents salvation. I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10 KJV).

Gen 21:14 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread, and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away: and she departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Gen 24:15 And it came to pass, before he had done speaking, that, behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, with her pitcher upon her shoulder.

Water spiritually represents Jesus’ teachings. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14 KJV)

Exo 28:12 And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.

Exo 28:24 And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate. 25 And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it.

The breastplate of judgment was designed to cover the heart while being supported by gold chains over the shoulders. Upon the shoulders rested two onyx stones named the Urim and the Thummim. God used these stones to communicate to the high priests. And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. (1 Samuel 28:6 KJV).

The right shoulder of the offering was given to the priests to eat. He among the sons of Aaron, that offereth the blood of the peace offerings, and the fat, shall have the right shoulder for his part. Lev 7:33.

God shared the offerings with the priests. What does it represent when God shares with people dedicated to serving him? This represents more than the normal concept people have of the relationship between human beings and God. This illustrates a much deeper relationship.

The ark containing the commandments was carried upon the shoulders of the priests. And the children of the Levites bare the ark of God upon their shoulders with the staves thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of the LORD. 1Ch 15:15.

This may either represent the responsibility the priests must bear, or the trust God has in the priests. God could have written His law in the side of a mountain, or etched it into the sky for all to see for ever. God chose to write His law upon two tables of stone, to be carried by the priests dedicated to serve. The shoulders of those dedicated to serve carried the commandments of God.

Jesus will also carry His government and laws upon His shoulders. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6.

The key of David, which signifies knowledge is also associated with the shoulder. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. Isa 22:22.

Thus far we have studied verses containing the word shoulder which explain the relationship between God and man. Other verses show the results when that relationship is severed.

Zechariah 7:11-13 KJV But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (12) Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. (13) Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:

Mat 23:4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Zechariah 7 outlines a clear connection between hearing God’s word and the shoulder. In Zechariah 7 the people refuse to hear God’s word. Matthew 23 shows the results. In an attempt to create a better religion the priests took God’s word, and provided their own interpretations to the people. The Bible painstakingly records the results so we are able to learn from them. Satan has convinced people they are much wiser than the Pharisees and better able to correctly interpret God’s word. Today people fail to see that allowing others to interpret the word of God for them, they are in the same predicament as the people before and during Jesus’ time. Those who feel they have the ability to interpret the word of God for others are no better than the Pharisees.

The Bible has established a spiritual link between a sheep and the word of God. This includes learning and knowing the word of God. The key word shoulder also provides a number of spiritual links to the word of God. Therefore the one lost sheep not only represents a lost person, it spiritually represents loosing the ability to understand God’s words.

Not only do the angels in Heaven rejoice when a sinner is saved, they will rejoice when the lost sinner discovers the joy of studying and understanding God’s word.

The word repent used in the parable has an interesting definition. It means to think differently and to reconsider.

G3340 metanoeo¯

From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.

Luke 15:1-7 KJV Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. (2) And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. (3) And he spake this parable unto them, saying, (4) What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Based on the findings of this study, this parable may be paraphrased something like this.

The tax collectors, politicians, and other sinners came to hear Jesus. And the politicians murmured, “this man meets with sinners and studies with them. Jesus told them this parable/ Which of you study with a hundred people, and one is lost, will not leave the ninety nine in the wilderness, and goes after the lost one until he finds him. And when he finds him, they share the word of God, rejoicing. And when they return, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, rejoice with me, I have found the one who was lost. I say unto you, there shall be joy in Heaven over one sinner that repents, more than the ninety nine which do not repent.

Ellen White on the Lost Sheep:

What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? Luke 15:4. {Mar 29.1}

For the conversion of one soul we should tax our resources to the utmost. One soul won to Christ will flash heaven’s light all around him, penetrating the moral darkness and saving other souls. {Mar 29.2}

If Christ left the ninety and nine, that He might seek and save the one lost sheep, can we be justified in doing less? Is not a neglect to work even as Christ worked, to sacrifice as He sacrificed, a betrayal of sacred trusts, an insult to God? {Mar 29.3}

Sound an alarm throughout the length and breadth of the earth. Tell the people that the day of the Lord is near and hasteth greatly. Let none be left unwarned. We might have been in the place of the poor souls that are in error. We might have been placed among barbarians. According to the truth we have received above others, we are debtors to impart the same to them. {Mar 29.4}

We have no time to lose. The end is near. The passage from place to place to spread the truth will soon be hedged with dangers on the right hand and on the left. Everything will be placed to obstruct the way of the Lord’s messengers, so that they will not be able to do that which it is possible for them to do now. We must look our work fairly in the face and advance as fast as possible in aggressive warfare. From the light given me of God I know that the powers of darkness are working with intense energy from beneath, and with stealthy tread Satan is advancing to take those who are now asleep, as a wolf taking his prey. We have warnings now which we may give, a work now which we may do; but soon it will be more difficult than we can imagine. God help us to keep in the channel of light, to work with our eyes fastened on Jesus our Leader, and patiently, perseveringly press on to gain the victory. {Mar 29.5}

In our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service. And in the future state, untrammeled by the limitations of sinful humanity, it is in service that our greatest joy and our highest education will be found. {Mar 29.6}

Selfish, exclusive, exacting souls who seem to fear to help those in error, as though they would become polluted by so doing, do not taste of the sweets of this missionary work; they do not feel that blessedness which fills all heaven with rejoicing upon the rescue of one who has gone astray. They are shut up to their narrow views and feelings, and are becoming as dry and unfruitful as the mountains of Gilboa, upon which there was neither dew nor rain. Let a strong man be shut away from labor, and he becomes feeble. That church or those persons who shut themselves away from bearing burdens for others, who shut themselves up to themselves, will soon suffer spiritual feebleness. It is labor that keeps the strong man strong. And spiritual labor, toil and burden bearing, is what will give strength to the church of Christ. {2T 22.1}

At one time Christ was reproving the Pharisees because they were not true shepherds, but closed their eyes to the plainest truths which he presented in his lessons. He called them blind guides, because they were false teachers. He then presented the parable of the true and the false shepherds, telling them that he was the good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep; while the hireling, whose own the sheep are not, would flee and betray the flock in time of peril. The Pharisees were of that number who were holy in their own estimation. They took no notice of the lost sheep. They were, they thought, just and righteous, and felt no need of repentance or of a Saviour. This parable of the lost sheep was for their benefit; and if they had not been filled with pride and self-conceit, they would have been instructed by these precious lessons given by Christ, and would have seen that they had a work to do for those who had not so great a knowledge of the truth as they possessed. The Pharisees, on account of their learning and advantages, felt above being instructed; but this made it all the worse, because they should have known Jesus and accepted his teachings, and then they would have had divine wisdom given them. {YI, April 28, 1886 par. 4}

The Lord has a work for us all to do. And if the truth is not rooted in the heart, if the natural traits of character are not transformed by the Holy Spirit, we can never be co-laborers with Jesus Christ. Self will constantly appear, and the character of Christ will not be manifested in our lives. The Saviour represented the Word of God by a pearl of great price. When He sent His disciples forth, He warned them: Cast not your pearls before swine. (See Matthew 7:6.) They understood His meaning. He had placed in their possession truths of the highest value. {11MR 373.2}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: