“Then Jesus told them 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 neighbours 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.”
The depth and extent of God’s love stands in striking contrast to the legalistic attitudes of the world.
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were very critical of Jesus association with those whom they deemed to be sinners. Their regulations laid down that they were to have no dealings with such people. In fact, according to William Barclay, the strict Jews had the view that ‘there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who is obliterated before God.’
Jesus view was diametrically opposed to this – and in fact He would teach that
“the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”
This is borne out in the parable where Jesus shows that He will track down the lost – seeking to find them and to bring them safely back to their home and relationship with God. And, in each case, He tells us there will be great ‘rejoicing in heaven.’ This gives us another indication of just how special we are to God! This same Jesus is with us always through the Holy Spirit and, if we do go astray, will come after us to find and recover us.
No matter how close we are to the Lord there may yet be areas of our lives that are still ‘lost’ to Him. Rooms within us where He is knocking on the door, asking to be allowed in so that He may bring light, forgiveness, healing and restoration. His love for us is such that He cannot bear to stand by and watch us hobble along spiritually. And what joy it brings to Him when He is permitted to enter and know the blessing that it brings to us and, through us, to others.
Ask God to show you where He is knocking – and deliberately invite Him in to be Saviour and Lord in that area as well.
Lord God thank You so much that You tracked me down and saved me. Please help me to allow You more fully into my life so that I may be more completely a part of Yours. Amen.