Parable of The Lost Sheep
1Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
2Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3So He told them this parable, saying,
4″What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5″When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6″And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
7″I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Two things are happening here:
First, Jesus is telling a story about a shepherd who has lost one of his sheep. Normally I would go into the sheep/ shepherd relationship here, but I think this parable is deeper that.
Jesus goes into 3 parables about loss right in a row â€¦ lost sheep (Luke 15:1-7), lost coin (8-10), and lost son (11-32). It stands to reason that Jesus is making a deeper point than shepherds and their love for their sheep.
Have you ever felt that panic and urgency upon losing something you just NEEDED to find?
Thatâ€™s what I believe Jesus is describing in this parable.
The Bible says that God created the heavens and the earth and He created you and me and somewhere along the way sin crept in and He â€œlostâ€ us. And ever since then, Heâ€™s been pursuing us with a sense of urgency.
Heâ€™s pursued us to the point that He sent Jesus to die so that each one of us could reconnect to him.
Thatâ€™s why 1 Tim. 1:6 says he paid â€œa ransom for allâ€ not just the 99 sheepâ€”all 100. Jesus says each time one of the lost is found there is a party in heaven (Luke 15:6-7).
Soâ€”for each one of us who would call ourselves Christ followers, we were once lost but are now found and the heavens have celebrated our return; the heavens have celebrated your return.
And for those who are still wondering â€¦ God is urgently and passionately pursuing you!
I LOVE that this is the God that I serve.
But there is another truth in this passage that I donâ€™t want to overlook, and it involves the individuals to whom Heâ€™s speaking:
Scripture says that the religious leaders saw him with the sinners and they grumbled against him. I imagine Jesus hung his head in this moment. As Jesus spoke this parable He reminded these church leaders of the character of God the Father, and additionally of their role.
As The Church, we need to be reminded of our role.
I think weâ€™ve become comfortable with the other 99 sheep and weâ€™ve forgotten the need to urgently pursue those who are lost.
15When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.â€
Do we live this out?
Do we have a sense of urgency for the lost or is it enough that weâ€™re ok?
I believe that if Jesus were here today He would say, donâ€™t you know that youâ€™re my hands and feet? Feed My Sheep.
My prayer is that The Church moves past its walls and that by pursuing the lost and feeding His sheep we become what God intends us to be.
And we will share in the celebration of Heaven.