When the Lost is Found
Jesus told the story of the lost sheep, where the shepherd left the 99 sheep and went out to save the one lost sheep. If you’re not familiar with shepherding in Jesus’ day, it may seem odd to leave 99 sheep alone and seemingly uncared for to retrieve one lost sheep.
“[The shepherd] 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 15:6-7 NIV
Interestingly, the shepherd knew the 99 would be safe in the sheep pen together, and the lost sheep, vulnerable and alone, would most likely fall to prey and die. Even individually, sheep were of great value to the shepherd, his family and his community. It would be worth his time to leave the others and search diligently to find the lost one.
All of heaven rejoices when one child of God comes home.
As Jesus told the story, He emphasized the great joy the shepherd experienced when he found the one lost sheep and his desire to share his joy by celebrating with everyone. Notice specifically Jesus’ words, “… 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.”
Jesus wanted us to have a picture in our minds of what happens in the heart of the Father when one of his children, lost in sin, comes home to Him. God’s great love for each one of us is so great, He searches for us, and when we finally are returned to Him, He scoops us up in His arms and carries us home with great celebration.
Today’s One Thing
If you have not yet given the Father reason to rejoice over you by giving your life to Him, learn more about Jesus here. If you have a relationship with Jesus, take time to pray today for those the Father is still looking for.