The Shepherd, the Sheep & The One Stray

“In the  same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”
‭‭- Jesus. (Luke‬ ‭15:7‬ ‭NLT)

The parable of the lost sheep is one that has always intrigued me. Finding the rationale behind the actions of a Shepherd who seemingly abandons a whooping sum of ninety-nine good and obedient sheep in search of one pesky stray was to me a herculean task. I mean such an action almost bordered on neglect on the part of any shepherd.

However, casting my mind back on the character of this Shepherd, this good Shepherd, I’m beginning to see his reasoning. At least a part of it.

It makes more sense when you understand that this Shepherd had led the ninety-nine to a place of safety. They’d walked with Him, been fed by Him, they knew His voice and they had great communication with Him. In fact, the only life they knew was a life of being led by Him. They were safe. Eternally safe.

On the other hand, the Shepherd had every reason to worry about the stray. He was living solely by his own limited wisdom, he had no idea where he was going, perhaps he thought he did. He did not know what plants were poisonous, what terrains were treacherous, where the pack of wolves prowled. He thought he was free to do whatsoever he liked. But, boy! Was he wrong. The Shepherd knew his beloved stray was damned and had to rescue him before the Jaws of the wolves closed around his neck with a note of finality.

I want to assume that this stray had always been a rascal. Probably the only black sheep among the hundred. Had always been a pain to the Shepherd and the rest of the flock. But the Shepherd still loved his rascally black sheep and was willing to give anything to save him… Everything, even his own life.

I can’t boast of fully understanding the love of the good Shepherd. I can only say that He loved all hundred of us immeasurably. Hence, whenever I’m tempted to lash out because a rascally sheep bleated at or attacked me, whenever I want to pray for it to die, I think of this story. But above all, I think about Our Good Shepherd who believes that every stray deserves a second chance.

Have a blessed week.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.