God Loves Lost Sheep
There are three wonderful stories in Luke 15 which tell us something about the nature of this God who helps and restores those who fall.
Like most of Jesus' parables, these stories were told to correct wrong thinking. Try picture with me what the setting of this was like.
Seated around him were His disciples, along with a number of young people. The religious leaders of the day called them a derogatory term: the people of the land. They were commoners, natives, and aborigines. To marry your daughter to one of them was like exposing her to a beast of prey.
In fact the regulations of the Pharisees stated specifically:
"When a man is one of the people of the land, entrust not money to him, take no testimony from him, trust him with no secret, do not appoint him guardian of an orphan, do not make him the custodian of charitable funds, do not accompany him on a journey"
The aim of the Pharisee was to avoid all contact with the people of the land.
The Pharisees looked forward to one thing alone - not the salvation of these people, but their total destruction.
This is why they could not understand Jesus and complained many times "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
The scribes and Pharisees did not believe that God loved sinners.
To try to illustrate this Jesus told the story of a lost sheep - and the reaction of the good shepherd.
As with most parables, He probably began His story by pointing at a nearby field where a flock of sheep was returning to the fold for night. This was a familiar sight in Jesus' day.
The Old Testament Scriptures were filled with references to sheep and shepherds.
The prophet Ezekiel spoke of good shepherds and false shepherds, and severely warned against shepherds who use sheep for their own purposes rather than serving them.
Even the Psalmist identified who the shepherd was and also the sheep.
1 The L ...
There are 20400 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.