Repetition plays a vital role in our life journey. Through repetition we learn a variety of life skills such as walking, reading, counting… ad infinitum. It’s a method we utilize to teach and learn essential truths or principles. Even Jesus employs it when offering three parables in Luke 15. In each parable:
- An object is lost
- An object is found
- A celebration takes place
Jesus is using repetition here to reinforce certain aspects of life that are common to us all. Every human being is lost in sin. Every person has the potential of being found; of being rescued. And when even one soul gets saved a big-time party takes place in heaven!
But there is also a missing piece. By using repetition in all three parables Jesus not only emphasizes certain essential, universal truths but also draws our attention to something that is missing. It’s present in the first two parables but absent in the third. Have you figured it out yet?
In the first two parables someone goes looking for what is lost but in the third – the parable of the father with two sons – no one goes looking for the lost younger brother! Jesus doesn’t accidentally forget to include this detail but left it out in order to grab our attention. We all need someone to come looking for us and that someone is Jesus!
For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost. ~ Luke 19:10
Jesus is the true elder brother that gave up all the glory of heaven to come look for us. By His death and resurrection He rescues us from our sin. He has made it possible for us to exist in God’s family.
So now Jesus and the ones he makes holy have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters. ~ Hebrews 2:11
No matter what comes at you this week, remember that you have an older brother – Jesus – looking out for you!