Going along a bit with my last post about pride, let’s look at Luke 15:4-7, the parable of the lost sheep.
Luke 15: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Each one of us is that lost sheep. Not one of us is meant to relate with the ninety-nine. Again, it’s easy for me to do just that. “Wow, Jesus is really cool and will go find a person that wandered off. Isn’t that a bit risky for all these other well-behaved sheep that are left unattended, though (because of course that’s where I am)? Aren’t their lives and safety important, too? (Somehow I feel insulted a bit.) I guess this just focuses on the wandering sheep, which of course, I am not.”
If that doesn’t sound just like the Pharisees, what does! Maybe the clue is in verse 7, “ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent“. There’s not one person in this category on earth! Jesus was the one exception when he was born a baby. Every one of us is a sinner with no righteousness and 100% need to repent. Bye-bye false pride! Agreed?
So, now that we know we are each that lost sheep, or have been at one point, the only reaction we should have is thankfulness and gratitude. Never pride. Never judging those around us, or looking down on them. They are, or were, lost just as we were.
Through Jesus’ blood, God forgives us. He pursues us and rescues us from our deserved damnation. All that effort you see the shepherd go through to find that lost sheep, is what God goes through for me, for you. He’s not OK with us being lost and in danger. You are important to him and worth sacrificing his own Son for. Let that soak in today.