Luke 15:3-7 (KJV)
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
This morning while in preparation and prayer for services I began to reflect upon the parable of the “One Lost Sheep which was Found.” We have all heard the story preached on, taught on, or expounded on. However, there are a few things which stood out to me which I felt were worthy of sharing.
First, notice that Christ declares, “if he lose one of them.” Notice that the emphasis is not on the lone sheep that lost it’s way, but rather, “you as the shepherd lost one of your sheep.” How dare Jesus blame the shepherd, right? Well, think about it. What was the shepherd doing to have let one slip away? Was there a lack of vigilance? Was there a little idleness about the job? If this sheep had been in the fold of David, I doubt that one would have been lost! So what is Jesus saying? Jesus is basically telling the Pharisee’s present… “you lost your sheep, didn’t go after it…so I showed up and went after it, and brought it home!” In other words, “you are mad at me for doing what you should have done to begin with?”
Often times, you will find that working in the Kingdom of God is much like this. Individuals whose priorities are right step into the field of labor and begin to do what others should have been doing all along…instantly, jealousy, strife, and resistance occur. What’s the problem? Someone is just doing what you should have done many times before! If God seeks for a man to stand in the gap and make up the hedge and finds none…guess what…He just came Himself.
Secondly, and this is extremely important, there is a serous precedent set when a shepherd doesn’t go after one lost sheep. What’s the big deal? It’s just one! What we fail to recognize is that it is the shepherds perseverance to go after the one, which in turn, gives the other ninety-nine much needed security! Think about it! If the flock sees the willingness of the shepherd to search for one it reveals to the flock their intrinsic value in the eyes of the shepherd. However, if they see that the shepherd barely gives a second glance or makes very little clamor over one lost sheep;it reveals to the flock, which is comprised of individual sheep, that they themselves (as individuals) are not valuable enough to search after if they themselves become lost. When a shepherd pays a HIGH RANSOM for one lost sheep the flock is given the deepest and most profound sense of security.
I do not think it necessary, but herein is the value of what Christ did for us. This is the value being instilled in the parables of the lost coin and the lost sheep. “You’d go through ALL OF THAT just for one coin?” YES “You’d go through all of that just for one lost sheep?” YES!!!!!
John 3:16 (KJV)
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
1 Timothy 2:5-6 (KJV)
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
So, if I could press a little further, what does it say about our churches if we show very little pursuit…very little effort…very little, if any, attempt to help them find their way? We don’t realize it…but we are setting a precedent which declares that we are nothing more than the Pharisee’s…living a standard but forsaking the lost.