Excuse Me Sir, Are You Lost?
EXCUSE ME SIR, ARE YOU LOST? MATTHEW 18:1-14
SBS: Glad to be back, but somewhat fearful that you will see me for what I am. I really don’t know very much except for the NT.
Prayer Bless our new president
Intro: Intro: Lonnie the bus driver. My parents sent me to a Lutheran kindergarten. Lonnie was the bus driver who would pick us all up. He had some flavoring for his coffee. We couldn’t read very well but because my sister, who is older than I, had taught me to read a little I knew that the first word on the flavoring bottle was Jack, and the second word started with a D.
Lonnie would always let us off the bus by saying “I’ll see you at the party.”
One day the minister came in and told us that today would be Lonnie’s last day as a bus driver. He said “Lonnie is LOST AND HE IS not the kind of person that we are looking for at the church.” I began to wonder, and still wonder, what kind of people is the church looking for? More than that I never found out where that party was.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS A KINGDOM OF REJOYCING OVER THE LOST THAT ARE FOUND.
- PEOPLE OF THE KINGDOM vv. 1-5
- Question shows the lost. vv. 1-2
- Quotation shows the lesson vv.3-5
i. Note the “Amen” Like “listen up”
ii. Note the “I say to you” a meta-comment that we will see three times in this passage.
For instance, there is a great meta-comment in the movie Ocean’s Eleven just before they rob the vault, where Brad Pitt is giving Matt Damon pointers about how to conduct himself: “You look down, they know you’re lying and up, they know you don’t know the truth. Don’t use seven words when four will do. Don’t shift your weight, look always at your mark but don’t stare, be specific but not memorable, be funny but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you then forget you the moment you’ve left his side. And whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances… He is then interrupted and we never hear the most important, the meta-comment.
- PROMISES OF THE KINGDOM vv. 6-11
- Promise of punishment vv. 6-7
- Promise of priority vv. 8-9 CHAIN SAW REPENTANCE
- Promise of protection vv. 10-11
i. Note another meta-comment “I Say to …”
ii. Note the hint of guardian angels- “their angels”
- PARABLE OF THE KINGDOM vv. 12-14
- Counter-cultural act of the shepherd v. 12
i. Mishna says that if a shepherd handed his flock over to a person who could not take care of them (minor, person who was mentally impaired) and the flock got out and did damage the shepherd was liable (Baba Qumma 6.2)
ii. Mishna in another place says that if a shepherd had a sheep attacked by a lion, wolf, panther or snake it was an unavoidable accident; if however he took the sheep (who were usually not his), or left the sheep in an area where they were liable to be attacked, he was liable (Baba Mesia 7:7-8)
- Counter-cultural attitude of the shepherd v 13
i. Note another meta-comment “I say …
ii. Note the start of the party- he is rejoicing. A party starts because he found one who was lost. The Kingdom of God causes rejoicing over one little sheep.
The gospel is for those who know that they are wanders who can’t find their way back. Who know that they are worthless and without hope apart from God.Boston Globe June 1990. A different kind of wedding feast. The Hyatt Regency cannot give the deposit back after the groom backs out. The bride changes the menu to boneless chicken in honor of the groom. She had been a street person and she invites all of the people from the local shelter. And so it was in June of 1990 the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Boston hosted a party like it had never seen before. People who were used to gnawing on half eaten pizza dined instead on the finest food the city had to offer. Hyatt waiters in tuxedos served meals to senior citizens propped up by crutches and walkers. Bag ladies, vagrants, and addicts took one night off from the hard life on the sidewalks outside and ate chocolate wedding cake and danced to big band melodies into the night.Don’t you see that this is what this kingdom is about? That God is that wonderful shepherd who gets more of a kick out of the one lost sheep than out of the 99 who had the good sense not to get lost in the first place. God is the host who, when the country club crowd and the bank presidents all turned down his invitation because they had more important things to do he goes out onto the skid row and the soup kitchens and the charity wards and he brings to the kingdom people whom we would never expect. The old woman in the moth eaten fur coat who makes the daily rounds of garbage cans. The pusher, the whore, the village idiot who stands on the corner yelling at cars as they drive by. They are seated at the kingdom party tables laden with fine china and candles, and at a sign from the host they all strike up the hymn Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like meI once was lost, (lost like a sheep) but now am found (I didn’t find myself, someone had to find me)Was blind, but now I see I’ll see you at the party. Make sure you are there and do me a favor; bring someone with you.