The Lost One
“The Lost One”
By: Edwin Crozier
In Luke 15:1-2, the Pharisees and scribes grumbled against Jesus saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” (ESV). And so Jesus responded with a parable of lost sheep. He asked how many of the men would not leave the ninety-nine safe sheep and go search for the one that was lost. When he found it, he would rejoice and ask his neighbors to rejoice with him.
We often use this parable to talk about fallen Christians. However, Jesus is responding to a complaint against His evangelism. With that in mind, we see some interesting points about bringing in lost sheep.
First, we can’t find the lost sheep if we only hang out with saved sheep. Jesus was receiving sinners because that was where He could find lost sheep. If we want to bring in the lost, we have to go out to them.
Second, when the lost sheep is brought back to the fold, it won’t look like the rest. Because the lost sheep was not in the fold, it had gone without food. It was emaciated. Its wool was likely caught in brambles and thickets. It may have even been attacked by predators. When we bring the lost in, they won’t look like us. Their hair may be different. Their clothes may be different. They may have tattoos and body piercings. Sadly, many sheepfolds want all the sheep to look just like us before they can come in. We need to be ready to accept the sheep as they are. Some differences don’t matter at all; the others will change as the lost person becomes a Christian and more Christ like.
Third, sometimes we go out into the wilderness and we see all kinds of creatures, but only find one lost sheep. Jesus told this parable in response to His being around a whole bunch of sinners. He was looking for one lost sheep. Too often we get caught up in “analysis paralysis” trying to convert the world. Instead, just look for one more lost sheep. Once you find one, go back out and look for one more.
Fourth, rejoice when the lost sheep comes into the fold. No matter what he or she looks like, no matter if they came from false religion, no religion, or one of our own families, we should all rejoice with our brethren. Welcome the new sheep into the fold, enfolding them into our love and fellowship.
Finally, the fact that Jesus had to tell this parable at all demonstrates that we have to be prepared for some seeming sheep to look down on us. We have to be ready to do all of this in the face of opposition. Regrettably, some sheep do not want to bring in the lost. They just want to hang out together while the fold dwindles down and ultimately dies. We will still have to find lost sheep in spite of them because we care.
May God bless us as we go out into the open country and find some lost sheep!