Daily Reading and Prayer submitted by Melissa Deelstra
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. (Luke 15:1-7)
I’ve found myself thinking about this parable often. I’m captivated by it’s audacity. Who would leave 99 sheep in the open country to go after one lost sheep? I know I should wonder, “what about the 99?” but I keep thinking about that foolish sheep that wandered off. That little lost sheep brings to mind those who are dear to me who have wandered off and gotten lost in one sense or another. Knowing that our God is a Shepherd who runs after the lost one brings immeasurable comfort to me.
Thank-you for revealing yourself to us in your Word. Thank you for your relentless pursuit of the lost ones. Lord, you know those we’ve lost and we ask that you keep them in your care. Bring them comfort, keep them safe, and, if it’s your will, bring them home.