Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and returns home.”
Jesus had a way of making His lessons personal to those who listened. He used examples that were common and familiar, and then went on to show how it related to the kingdom of Heaven. Whether it was agricultural, business or home life, He was able to help people see the underlying meaning God intended.
In today’s lesson, He speaks of a man who goes out to find a lost sheep, one out of a hundred. Many may look at this and say “why would he risk additional loss by leaving the ninety nine to go after one?” Jesus has a good reason for leading them to that thought.
Jesus wants us to understand how much God loves us, and that when we stray off on our own, like the lost sheep, we become easy prey for evil. God comes looking for us because we are precious to Him. God does not regard lightly the fact that we of all creatures are made in His image, and wants us all gathered safely in relationship with Him.
Like the lost sheep, we have little chance of finding the way back on our own. We don’t have the strength or knowledge to return alone. However, our Good Shepherd is out looking for us, intent on bringing us all to His pasture together.
Gracious God, we are Your flock, and like sheep we often wander off into danger. Thank You for Your love and care that comes to save us through Christ our Lord. Help us to follow faithfully, and to wander no more. Amen.