“A man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray. Will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains, and go and search for the one that is lost? And if it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that have not gone astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish.”Matthew 18:12-14
If you had 100 one-dollar bills in your pocket and lost one at some point during the day, chances are you would probably shrug your shoulders and say to yourself, “Oh well!” In other words, you wouldn’t be overly concerned about losing a single dollar because of the $99 that you have. However, Jesus tells us a parable about a man who considered the one as important as the many.
The parable Jesus shared shows us how important the people who the world considers least are to God. God does not desire even one lost soul to perish. Instead, He pursues the one, and when a single soul repents and turns to follow Jesus, God and the heavenly host rejoice. In the parable of the lost sheep, it’s not that the shepherd didn’t care about the 99 safe sheep but that there is great joy when the lost one is found. That’s the thrust of Jesus’s message to His disciples, God loves all of His children, and He delights when one child comes home.
Perhaps you feel least among those in the world, always coming in last or never considered by others or even acknowledged. Maybe you are looking for something to satisfy that emptiness you feel inside, a void in your soul the world cannot fill. That’s because only the Spirit of God can make a person complete on the inside. That’s why God is pursuing you as the one, the one whom He will rejoice over when you turn to accept and follow His Son, Jesus.
In retrospect, I can honestly say that when I sought God many years ago, it was indeed God who was pursuing and drawing me to Himself. It was God’s love for me and His love for you that Jesus came into the world to die our death so that we could live His life. Yes, God loves you that much!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
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