Jesus told this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?
And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. – Luke 15:3-7
Jesus, as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11), does three things for His sheep:
1) The Good Shepherd Searches
- Notice that the shepherd is anxious to recover the lost sheep — He leaves the ninety-nine immediately to go after the one who is lost.
- Notice the shepherd doesn’t give up until the sheep is found — He goes after the sheep “until he finds it”.
- Notice the shepherd isn’t angry at the sheep — He is joyful when he finds his sheep.
In the same way, Jesus came to “save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) He “came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10)
2) The Good Shepherd Finds
- Notice the shepherd carries the all the weight — The sheep is carried “on his shoulders”.
- Notice the shepherd holds the sheep safe — The sheep are safe, held firmly in his grip.
In the same way, Jesus carries the weight of sin for us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) He also holds our salvation safe and sure, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:28)
3) The Good Shepherd Brings Home
- Notice the shepherd shares his joy of finding the sheep with friends — “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep!”
- Notice the shepherd brings the sheep all the way home — “…and goes home.”
In the same way, when a person comes to Christ “there is rejoicing in heaven” And Jesus leads us to heaven, “I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)