The Parables of Jesus – The Lost Sheep.
(BIBLE PORTION TO READ: MATTHEW 18:11-14, LUKE 15:4-7)
The parable “The Lost Sheep” is one of the well known and widely preached parables from the holy Bible. The gospel shared through this parable is that the Lord Jesus Christ has come into this earth to find the lost sheep like us and to bring us back into the flock called the church. He rejoices when we sinners are found. Along with this gospel, there is yet another message for the saints.
A shepherd had a flock of hundred sheep. He took them into the mountains to provide them pasture. When he reached home, he counted his sheep and learnt that one was missing. He again went into the mountains searching for the lost sheep and when he finds it, he carries the sheep on his shoulders and brings it to his home. He rejoices and celebrates with his friends.
There are few interesting facts about sheep that we need to know. Firstly, sheep are gregarious, which means that they like to stay in group. Secondly, sheep get agitated when they find themselves alone. Thirdly, sheep cannot see clearly in the night. Lastly, sheep can recognize the voice of their master.
What could be the reasons for the sheep to go astray? According to me, there might be two possible reasons. One reason is that the sheep is not strong enough to follow its master in a rough mountainous land. The other reason is that the sheep might be busy in grazing that it does not see his friends leaving. It could be far from his master so that he could not hear his call.
We all know that we as believers and as children of God are compared to the sheep. Some of us become very busy in running from pillar to post in hearing the word of God. We attend all kind of meetings in all platforms to increase our Bible knowledge. Meddling with the facts and mysteries, we stop following Christ and strive to solve mysteries and note facts. How sad! When the Lord Jesus takes us through pastures, we become busy in searching for our own comfortable pastures and leave Him. Attending meetings is not wrong but you need to search for Christ in whatever message you listen to. If Christ is not the center of that message then that message is not from God. Matthew 17:8 “And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.” By the time we realize that we have been meddling with the things that do not show Christ we lose Him. We try going to Him but it is all dark. Our spiritual eyes get blinded with the verbal knowledge.
Do not be discouraged, for the shepherd runs in search of the lost sheep as soon as he finds that one of them is missing. The shepherd has the ninety-nine sheep but still he is worried about the one. He could have left the one sheep and be satisfied with the ninety-nine. The number 100 shows the perfection. The Lord Jesus is telling you that the church appears incomplete to Him without you. Your shepherd has come in search of you. Go to Him. He will carry you with love and place you in the fellowship again. We get agitated when we are away from the flock. Do not ever try to be away from the fellowship that Lord has placed you in. Your rejoining rejoices Him.
In the gospel according to John chapter 21 we see that the Lord Jesus Christ assigns a work to his disciple that is to feed His flock. In 1 Peter 5:4 we see the Lord Jesus as the chief shepherd. All those who serve Him today are the shepherds hired by Him to feed His flock. When the shepherd in the parable lost his sheep, he did not rest till he found it. he rejoiced and celebrated with his friends. We as His hired shepherds how much more careful should we be in taking care of the flock of Christ? Sadly, today there are many pastors who do not care about the lost sheep. They are happy with the remaining sheep. They are not bothered in visiting the backslidden believers. We learn from the shepherd from this parable tries every means to search for the backsliding believers who are either weak in following Christ or are meddling with facts. We should bring them back into the fellowship with love and care. This brings us joy.