Desperation for Lost People

Losing things brings about frustration. Losing people moves us to desperation.

The five most common things we lose are tv remote, keys, wallet/purse, glasses, and phone. 60% of people report that they have been late for work or school because they were searching for something. 

We all lose things. It's frustrating. But when we lose people, frustration becomes desperation.

Have you ever lost a person? I have.

My wife and I have lost our children. . . . . . . . . 3 times! 

We left them at church twice.

The other time we went to church and left them at home. 

Don't think bad of us. We didn't mean to. We recovered our children all three times and have spent a lot of time with them since. They turned out fine.

Each time we quickly realized what we had done, and we moved toward them with total desperation. 

The Desperation of Jesus

In Luke 15, Jesus is criticized because he eats with sinners. In answer to his critics, he tells three stories about lost things.

The first story is about a man who loses a sheep. How does he respond? He goes after it with desperation.

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?

Luke 15:4

The second story is about a woman who loses a coin. How does she respond? She searches for it with desperation.

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?

Luke 15:8

The third story is about a father who loses one of his two sons. It's a painful story. 

The son asked for his inheritance, which means that he had no intention of seeing him again for the rest of his life. The son leaves. He wastes his inheritance. He then reaches such a low in life that he begs for pig food.

So he comes to himself and heads toward home. With nothing. 

The way the son left, he pretty much wished his father dead. A lot of damage has been done.

How does the father respond?

But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20


The reason Jesus ate with sinners is He's like the father. He is looking for those who are a long way off. 

Losing a sheep or a coin is one thing, but losing the life of a person who does not know the Lord is a horrible thing.

Sadly, we spend more time searching for our keys than we do searching for lost people.

Our lives should have intentional movement toward lost people. Like Jesus, we should share meals and develop relationships. The most loving thing we can do is point lost people to Jesus.

Bible Study

Read Luke 15.

  • How does this passage provoke us to praise Jesus?
  • What is the failure of the older brother in the prodigal son story? How are we sometimes like him when it comes to lost people?
  • What principles should we apply from Luke 15?


Extend an invitation to a person who is not a Christian to eat with you soon.

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