Jesus and the Parable of the Lost Sheep
What is a parable? At a basic level, a parable is a short story designed to convey a concept to be understood and/or a principle to be put into practice.
Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! Luke 15:1-2 NLT
- The Jewish culture was a shame/honor-driven society.
- Jesus wasn’t there to shame them, but to save them.
- Religion and culture can cause us to miss God.
3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 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!” Luke 15:3-7 NLT
- The Good Shepherd was willing to leave the ninety-nine sheep in the fold to go in search of the one lost lamb.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 NLT
- Without Jesus, our Good Shepherd, we are spiritually lost and unable to find God on our own.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all. Isaiah 53:6 NLT
- To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind regarding sin and Jesus Christ.
For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 NLT
“The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.”
My Utmost for His Highest, Dec 7
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 2 Peter 3:8-9 NLT
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 NLT
- Because of religion, lost people often consider themselves not lost.
- We are born lost because we have a sin nature inherited from Adam and Eve that drives us to rebel against The Good Shepherd.
The Bad News
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Romans 3:23 NLT
The Good News
24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:24-26 NLT
Next Steps for me today…
- To change my mind about both Jesus and sin. To repent!
- To receive Jesus Christ for salvation by faith and be saved.
- To see the need around me for God’s Good News.