In the Parable of the Lost Sheep which is found in Luke 15:4-7 and Matthew 18:12-14,
Jesus told a story about a Shepherd who lost one sheep. This shepherd immediately left
the other 99 sheep to go to find the one who went astray. When he found it, he rejoiced.
Similarly, when a sinner repents there is great rejoicing in heaven. In the time when Jesus
told this parable, Shepherds were in the lower class and worked for the owner of the sheep.
Since the sheep didn’t belong to the Shepherds, it would be a huge problem if any were lost,
hurt or stolen. If wolves or robbers got the sheep, the shepherd would lose his job. This
parable confused people. Consider the politics at that time. The Romans were in rule.
Shepherds had no power or authority. If they lost a sheep, they would not only lose their
job, they wouldn’t be hired again. This parable teaches us that, just like the shepherd
who would leave all of his sheep to save one, Jesus sacrificed his life to save us from sin.
At times, we are all like the stray sheep going off track on the way to heaven, yet Jesus helps
us get back. Jesus taught that even when we make mistakes, God forgives us. He wants
us to learn from our mistakes and come back to Him. We have to repent and make every
effort to learn from our mistakes. Even if only one sinner turns back to God, there will be
a great celebration in heaven. We all turn away from God in our lives, even if it isn’t
intentional. God’s invitation is always there beckoning us back to His love.
This parable tells us that no matter what we do, God always invites us back to have a chance
at salvation. All we have to do is say “yes.”
In addition to seeing ourselves as the lost sheep in this parable, we must also see ourselves as the Shepherd.
We must search for those who are lost and bring them back to God. Family, friends,
or anyone who is suffering due to addictions, incarceration, mental or physical sickness,
grieving the loss of a loved one, need our help and our prayers. Tell people know
that they are not alone and then prove it.