The Gospel of Luke | Lost Sheep | Luke 15.1-7 |

by | Aug 31, 2021

”Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?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.’ 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 15.1-7 

I admit that I can be a little zealous. I can let my emotions get the best of me. I’m passionate, a vision caster, and sometimes run forward without a clear path or direction from God. But to follow a God who eats with tax collectors, sinners and goes after lost sheep is my kind of fella! 

There’s something to be said about being impetuous. Something to be said about spontaneity, impulsivity, daring. Who in there right mind would eat with the rift raft of this world when the “righteous” were available at a moments notice? Who would leave all the sheep in the open field and run to find the lost one? Who would die upon a cross for the sins of the world? Jesus would.

You know it wasn’t just that Jesus went to the tax collectors and sinners, it was that they were “gathering around to hear him.” The difference was, Jesus didn’t send them away. Those who were guilty of sin, realizing their faults and living in shame, were drawn to Jesus like moth to a flame.

And as they ate, the Pharisees and teachers of the law muttered. They didn’t have the courage to speak up or speak out. They just muttered under their breath like a high school student who got caught sneaking out of the house at night.

So Jesus tells the parable about the hundred sheep, one being lost, and how the shepherd goes to find the lost sheep. But when he finds it, he doesn’t simply go home by himself, “he calls his neighbors and friends and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” 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.”

God rejoices when broken people find healing and it only comes through the name of Jesus. The broken, the lost, the left behind and the stranded are people who not only come to Jesus but are found and loved by him. I was once that kind of person and during my life, have been once again broken, in distress, lost and alone. But just as Jesus found me once, he can find me again. He draws me back, close to his chest, and redeems my soul.

Have you been found by Jesus? Have you called upon the name of the Lord? What are you waiting for. Say the words, “Come Lord Jesus, heal me, find me, make me whole.” And he will come find you. He will put with in you his Spirit. He will save you by his grace.

”O Lord God, as a sheep who was once lost, but now is found, thank you. I praise you for the gift of life, of second chances, of work that is significant, of salvation that is meaningful. Come now Holy Father, allow me to walk in your power that I might share your love with others. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen