Our Compassionate Lord
July 11, 2021
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray (Matthew 18:12-13).
Jesus used parables to teach spiritual truth to people. Some of His parables were taken from the fields (The Parable of the Sower). Others were taken from the marketplace (The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price). This parable was taken from the care of livestock.
All parables taught by Jesus contained a central truth, but there were also ancillary applications of that truth. The central truth of The Parable of the Prodigal Son focused on the older brother who was angry over his father’s attitude toward his irresponsible younger brother. But the parable also taught about the father’s compassion, the foolishness of worldliness, the power of repentance, and the graciousness of forgiveness.
In The Parable of the Lost Sheep the central truth is the love of the shepherd toward each individual member of the flock of sheep. When one went missing, the shepherd sacrificed much to restore the lost sheep to the fold. He did so not just because it was his job, but because he loved the sheep individually and collectively.
In many of the parables of Jesus we learn a great deal about God. In this parable we learn of God’s great love for humanity and that He goes the extra mile to seek and save those who belong to Him so that they may be brought into the Kingdom. He cares for the lost soul. He is patient with their self-willed, sinful foolishness that they would wander off into an unsafe and dangerous world. We learn of His willingness not to give up until that lost soul is found and restored even though the lost one may not even know he/she is lost.
This parable teaches us the truth of salvation - it is God who seeks for us even when we are not aware that we are lost from Him. God is far more concerned about us than we are about Him. He knows the dangers of this world when we are ignorant of the same and stops at nothing to rescue us from those dangers.
This parable reveals the joy of the Father when lost souls are found, rescued, and brought into the Kingdom - even more so than the lost one that is found or others than have been rescued. How great is the love and compassion of God toward us? Study this parable and you will know.
“Thank You Father, for Your grace, mercy, love, compassion, and willingness to seek us out and save us - even when we were not aware we needed saving. Thank You that You sent Jesus Christ as a demonstration of Your great love for us. May Your name be praised forever, Amen.”