The Parable of the Lost Sheep
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
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 goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’”
These last three parables -- The Fig Tree, Invited to The Wedding Feast, and the Lost Sheep -- go together to help us prepare to truly celebrate Easter, Jesus’ death and resurrection.
If you’ve noticed a common theme, it’s because Jesus really wanted us to understand something. He was trying to get His disciples, and you and me, to understand that we can’t really celebrate Easter when we think we are good enough for God already.
In the parable of the Lost Sheep, we don’t know why the sheep wandered off...whether it was hurt, or blind, or just plain stubborn. No matter the reason, Jesus sends a message that every single one is important and belongs with Him. The same is true of God’s Kingdom.
No matter what someone has done, who they are, or their attitude, Jesus wants them in His family, to be a part of His Kingdom.
Think about the statement, “We can’t really celebrate Easter when we think we are good enough for God already,” and take some time to assess areas in your life where you might think or act like you’re good enough for God. Confess them to Him and take on the posture of the lost sheep -- grateful for a Saviour who has saved you from yourself and the tangled messes you can or have gotten yourself into.
Dear Jesus, I’m so glad that you don’t give up on your lost sheep. Even I confess that "I once was lost, but now I'm found!" Thank you for being a Good Shepherd and that you came to save those who are lost. Amen.