“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” Luke 15:4 (NKJV)
Jesus was known to have shared a meal with a tax collector. More likely, with many such men, as He frequented the homes of those who were scorned as sinners. He was also known to use parables to teach people. A parable, a story which could be true but makes a lesson more personal to people, was used to make His point, to bring understanding to those who could not see. In this case, Jesus chose sheep.
Have you ever had the thought, after reading this verse, and the rest of this passage, vs. 5-6, what about the other 99? Would Jesus simply abandon them, leave them undefended and helpless, on their own, without any protection at all? I have thought this, numerous times, even though I know otherwise. I wonder, was this one sheep more important than the others, was it special in some way, was it worth more monetarily for some obscure reason? If the other sheep were obedient and stayed close to the shepherd, why was this one, who was possibly a rebel, the one he would seek out?
We, the people of God, are the sheep that Jesus speaks of. Sheep are known to follow their shepherd trustingly, with no question or hesitation. They go where they are led. They simply follow. If they follow wrongly, such as a false shepherd, their end could be tragic. But if they follow wisely, they will receive the very best from the one they trust. Sheep are often referred to as meek, mellow, and sometimes stupid. But is it really stupid to follow the one you know will truly care for you and take care of you?
“I am the good shepherd; and I know my sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also must I bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” John 10:14-16
Right there is the answer to the question I, and possibly you, have wondered about, “them also must I bring.” This small set of words shows us the intent of Jesus, the feelings He has for the other sheep. He wants them all. He wants us all!
There is no favoritism in the love of Jesus for His sheep. He knows we are not stupid, else we would not be able to discern the false shepherds. He knows we are needy, and must have protection from the evil that pursues us daily, and that we recognize this. He also knows when we trust Him and we do not. A good shepherd will continue to take care of his sheep even when those sheep disobey, and wander away for a time. That is why He is the Good Shepherd.
Are you faithful, true, devoted to Jesus, yet wonder why He would pursue the lost, and not simply focus on the saved, like you? It is because Jesus cares for the lost sheep that we can be assured that He also cares just as much for the rest, the other 99. Be assured, if any one of us steps out and drops off the radar, He will be in hot pursuit. And He will bring us home.
Jesus is Our Hope. We can be sure of His love and His promises. We know He died on a tree at Calvary for His very own sheep, who do know His voice. He has called us, and is still calling others. The herd shall be great, it shall be protected, and it shall never live without hope.
“Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
Have you ever felt like you were only one of a flock following Jesus, with no personal worth? If so, please comment here, and share your story, or go to www.mystoryofgrace.com.