I have had so many different blogs on my heart lately, but it seems like time has just not been on my side. So now that I’m finally getting to sit down and write, I can’t wait to share with you what has been going on in this head/heart of mine!
I am doing my first blog series. Throughout the week, I’ll be posting different blogs on the same chapter of the Bible. I encourage you to participate. If you have something to say, please comment or send me a message! Spend time in prayer over these things and see if the Lord wants to do something in you, like He has certainly done for me.
We’ll be looking into Luke 15. In this chapter, we see Jesus is telling three parables. A parable is a story about familiar things that helps us understand a bigger spiritual truth. All three of these stories talk about something lost. If you have been in church, you have heard these stories a million times. But as I have read them, I’ve really been asking God to show me something new. I hope that He does the same for you!
In the first one, we see the picture of a shepherd. He has one hundred sheep and he ends up losing one of them. He leaves the ninety-nine and goes in search of the one. When he finds the one, Jesus says that the man angrily yells at the sheep and tells him that he is no good and how disappointing he has been to the shepherd and…
Oh wait…Is that not how it happened?
In verses 5 and 6, we read, “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’”
The shepherd isn’t angry with the sheep. He isn’t frustrated that he had to search all of that time for the lost animal. He is simply happy because his lost sheep has now been found!
I can imagine this sheep.
He is used to being with his shepherd. He has been spending time with him. He has learned his voice. But something happens. He gets off course and soon finds his way outside of his protection. So now he is alone and he can no longer hear the shepherd’s voice. Sure the first part of his journey might have been nice. He had all of the grass that he could imagine. But as the sun is setting, he realizes that maybe being all by himself isn’t all that great. He starts to feel scared. He is alone. Did the shepherd forget about him? They had spent so much time together. Every night the shepherd would count. Surely, he was see that one was missing. Or could it be that he was so mad at him that he decided to stay with the ninety-nine? I mean…they followed his rules and did everything correctly. Maybe the shepherd won’t come find him after all… Maybe he could find his way home on his own…no… he would have no idea where to go. He would be even more lost.
But as he sits, the silence is broken. The sheep knows that sound. He has heard them many times before. They are footsteps. Not just any footsteps though, it’s the shepherd! The shepherd has come for him!
But wait…will the shepherd be angry? Will he punish him? What will we do? Suddenly, new fears spring up inside.
As the shepherd comes closer, the sheep sees… a smile? What? Is the shepherd smiling? And now…he’s laughing…and rejoicing! The sheep is picked up and put on the shoulders of the man. The shepherd walks swiftly in the direction of home. Home. He was going home!
When they returned home, the sheep hears his master calling his friends and family. They are rejoicing…over him! After all that he has done. After losing his way. After everything that has happened. There is rejoicing!
Throughout the Bible, we read that we are like the sheep and Jesus is our shepherd. And so when I think about this section of the chapter, I am reminded that our mistakes do not affect Christs’ love for us.
Have you ever felt like God has forgotten about you?
Have you ever thought that your sin was too big for God to forgive you?
Have you ever thought that He has left you on your own to figure out a way back home?
Can I just tell you something? We have all been like this sheep. We have tried doing things on our own and figuring out our own way. Maybe it was fun at first, but then we realize where we are. We realize that we are lost. We have escaped the protection of our master.
But, Jesus…sweet Jesus…is our good shepherd. He comes to where we are. He finds us…and He leads us home. Joyfully.