For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about Jesus presenting Himself as the good shepherd and referring to us as His sheep.
In addition to the quotes I’ve mentioned before from John chapter 10, Jesus also used a well-known parable to illustrate His love for each one of His sheep:
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. (Luke 15:3-7)
This parable was intended to portray a person who was part of Jesus’ flock but turned away and got lost. They strayed away and lost sight of the shepherd and the flock.
The amazing thing about Jesus’ love is that the parable shows that the Shepherd doesn’t wait for the sheep to realize that it is lost and call for help. He doesn’t sit and wait for it to come back to Him. He pursues the lost sheep! He wants to bring each one back to His flock.
He leaves the other 99 sheep behind and go rescue the one that got lost. And that’s another message to us. The 99 that were left behind must also rejoice for the one sheep that was lost and was recovered.
Our pride might tells us that Jesus is giving more attention to the lost sheep than to the other ones in His flock, the other 99. But love tells us that we should also care for the lost sheep. Whatever breaks Jesus’ heart should break our heart too.
The same way that He pursues the lost sheep, we must also do it. But He must always lead the way. We must follow Him even in rescue missions, so pride doesn’t fool us and lead us astray too.
One of my favorite songs, “Leaving 99″ by Audio Adrenaline, talks about this parable. Check it out:
If you got lost, look around, the loving Good Shepherd is coming for you. He wants to take you back to His flock. Let Him do it.
If you’re in the flock, and you feel left behind, just put your pride aside. Look to the world through the lenses of love. That will change your perspective and you will realize that you are loved indeed. In fact, the Good Shepherd has already given His life for you to prove it. Go on and help care for the lost sheep that He is bringing back home.