I have seen something circulating around quite a bit: a cartoon that depicts Jesus leaving 99 sheep to rescue one that is lost. The 99 are holding signs that read, “All Sheep Matter.”
Friends, we should always read and interpret Scripture in its proper context.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep can be found in Luke 15:1-7. Let’s take a look at this passage together:
“Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”
No, this parable is not about oppression. It is not about systematic racism. It is not about Black Lives Matter.
This is about the Gospel.
You and I are sinners and have no way to be reconciled to God on our own.
Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God sent Jesus to die in our place, so that those who accept Jesus as their Savior can be reconciled to Him.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, came to Earth to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The Parable of the Lost Sheep beautifully shows how Jesus came to save sinners like you and I. Jesus’ death and resurrection proved that He is the Son of God. He defeated sin and death and now sits at the right hand of God, mediating for those who are God’s children (Romans 8:34).
I was once lost before I gave my life to Jesus. Being a Christian does not mean that I am perfect, nor that my life will be without suffering.
Being a Christian means that I know that I cannot live life on my own. It means that I know I’m a sinner who needed to be rescued from a life of darkness. It means that I can rest securely in my Heavenly Father’s hands. It means that I take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. It means I love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind. It means that I believe that all people are made in the image of God, and all are to be treated with dignity and respect.
Being a Christian means that I believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and that it is useful for teaching, exposing sin, correcting us when we are wrong, and equipping us to do the work God has called us to do (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
All of the evil in this world is a result of sin. It is a heart problem. The only One who can change the human heart is Jesus Christ.
Dear friends, I encourage you to read Scripture carefully. I also encourage you to share the Gospel with those who are lost and who need to know the hope that only a relationship with Jesus can give.
Until next time,