Daily Insight August 1st
“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.’” Luke 15:3-7
Good Shepherd’s uncontainable joy over a lost sheep.
Luke chapter 15 starts with the statement “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.” The tax collectors were the Roman Government officials whom ordinary people did not like. They forcefully collected more than the required taxes of the government and they enjoyed the surplus amount they collected. Many of them became rich. However, people hated them. In addition to tax collectors, sinners were also gathering around Jesus to listen to Him. The sinners were attracted to Jesus Christ. On one occasion Jesus said, “ Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17. However, the religious leaders of His day, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, did not like Jesus nor the sinners gathering around Jesus. When they saw tax collectors and sinners coming and listening to Jesus, they murmured and said, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
When Jesus heard this, He told a parable. A parable is a simple story that brings to light a hidden truth. Besides, a parable is a story taken from the earth to provide a heavenly meaning.
Listen to the parable Jesus said, “Suppose one of you has 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 15:3-7
Jesus was talking about the good shepherd. He is not talking about a shepherd who is working for daily wages or a bad shepherd. A good shepherd leaves the 99 sheep in a safe and open country and go and search for the one sheep that was lost from his fold. It says he goes after the lost sheep until he finds it. Did you notice? Not only goes after the lost sheep until he finds it, but also he does two more things. First, when you see it, he joyfully put the sheep on his shoulders and come home. Secondly, he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” The good shepherd cannot contain his joy of finding the lost sheep in himself. He wants to call not only his friends but his neighbors as well and then request them to rejoice with him. He would say, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” What a joy and excitement the good shepherd has upon finding his lost sheep!
Then Jesus said the hidden meaning of the parable. He said I tell you, 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. There will be a big rejoicing party in heaven when he finds one lost person. Who is the ninety-nine that does not want to repent? The religious leaders of His day – Pharisees and teachers of the law. They claim to be the teachers of the law and super religious people, but only outwardly. They do not have love and compassion toward people who are lost in their sins and need help. They think they are righteous, fine and good and no need for a Savior. However, sinners know they are sinners and need help. Bible tells the truth – all are sinners. There is not even one person in the whole world who does good all the time. In our thoughts, imaginations, actions, and conversations we all do sin. All of us need the good shepherd, the savior from heaven, who can rescue us and reconcile with God in heaven.
Jesus said this about Him on another occasion – “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand (the one who works for wages) is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” Did you understand the heart of compassion and love that Jesus has toward all of us in the above statement? The hired shepherd does not care because he does not own the sheep. He would run away when a wolf comes and attack the sheep. Jesus is the good shepherd. He lays down his life for the sheep. In a matter of days, Jesus did what he said. Jesus Christ laid down his life for all of us. He was the lamb of God who carried the sins of the whole world. The good shepherd, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, said this, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45.
Beloved, Are you lost from the love, compassion, mercy, grace, and blessings of God? Come to the good shepherd, Jesus Christ now. He is your savior who can save you and give you a bright hope and future. He calls you with love and compassion. He and the whole of heaven is going to rejoice over you if you come.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I know I am away from you. I need the Savior Jesus Christ who would carry me, forgive my sins and rejoice over me. I believe He laid down his life for my sins and rose again from the dead. Please forgive my sins and accept me as your child. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.”