Leave the 99
Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Luke 15:3-7 (CEB) Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose someone among you had one hundred sheep and lost one of them. Wouldn’t he leave the other ninety-nine in the pasture and search for the lost one until he finds it? And when he finds it, he is thrilled and places it on his shoulders. When he arrives home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Celebrate with me because I’ve found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes both heart and life than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to change their hearts and lives.
It's always puzzled me how a shepherd might leave 99 to go find just one, until I read the story more closely. The 99 are left in the safety of a pasture, while the one is wandering alone in dangerous environment. I began thinking, if a child was drowning in a lake, would I not, after ensuring that any other children are safe on shore, jump into the water and rescue the drowning child? Of course I would. Jesus didn't just happen to be at the right place at the right time, he came specifically to seek and save those who are lost. (Luke 19:10)
While studying this passage with some friends we questioned if a soul was more valuable than a life. Would I risk my life to save a lost soul? Would I voluntarily give my life to see one lost person come to know Jesus? Would God ask me to? The good news is, we're just asked to give up control of our life, to be a good neighbour, to start a discussion with a lost person, to look beyond an outer shell and see person that Jesus sees. To see the person that Jesus came to save. He carries the lost sheep safely on his shoulders, back to the safety of the pasture. I may never be asked to give my life to save someone else's soul, but can intentionally look for lost souls, direct them to Jesus, and rejoice in the reunion.
Unnatural Love: A story of Redemption, Piece by Piece is the story of Joanie Brusseau and the many people in her life who saw beyond her outer shell, got out of their comfort zones, shared Jesus, then carried her home to safe pastures.