SCRIPTURE: Luke 15: Verse 4
While Jesus was having dinner at the house of a Pharisee, Publicans and others waited outside for Jesus. By tradition and custom, they were not permitted to dine with the Pharisees and Scribes because of their standing in the community.
The multitude came from the towns and villages to hear Jesus preach the Words of life.
When the Pharisees saw Jesus with the crowd, they murmured, whispered and complained that Jesus receives sinners and eats with people of low standing. They were more upset by the presence of Publicans who were known to be wicked, covetous, corrupt and extortionate tax collectors and oppressors of the poor.
To defend himself, Jesus tells the parables of The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and The Lost Son. In the parable of The Lost Sheep, Jesus posed the question: “What man of you, if he has a hundred sheep and should lose one of them, does not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he finds it.”
The lost sheep in the wilderness is exposed to the elements of the weather, thorns and briers. It lacks food, water and provisions. It is in danger of being killed and eaten by a lion or a wild beast. The shepherd would not be able to rest or sleep. He does not think about the ninety and nine, but he goes after the lost one until he finds it. When he finds it, he carries it hone on his shoulders, calls his neighbours and friends to celebrate the finding of the lost sheep.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”
We are like the lost sheep. We get lost along the way. We wander out of the right way. We err from the straight and narrow way. We look to the right and to the left and go astray. We go into the wilderness and are exposed to all kinds of danger, wild beasts, pitfalls and perils.
In the wilderness we are helpless and hopeless, wretched, miserable, lonely, famished, starving and dying, but the Good Shepherd comes, finds us and all things change.
Jesus restores our lives, rescues us out of the pit and washes us from our filthiness. He feeds and refreshes us in green meadows and brings us home safely on His shoulders rejoicing.