The Lost Sheep

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 15:1-7

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost

one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open

country, and go after the one that is lost, until he

finds it? (v. 4)

In Chicken Soup for the Soul, there’s a heartwarming
story of the mother who notices
her four-year-old daughter creeping into the nursery,
where her baby brother lies
sleeping. Curious, the mother watches as the girl
whispers to her baby brother, “What does
God look like? I forgot.”

We can forget what God looks like. That’s why Jesus
carried around pictures of his
heavenly Father. The pictures are called parables,
earthly stories with heavenly meanings,
each one a snapshot to remind us what God is like. One
such snapshot is the Parable of the
Lost Sheep.

“This man receives sinners,” the Pharisees grumped,
“and eats with them.” Why does
Jesus do this? Because a doctor cannot fix a broken leg
from across the street. God cannot
fix human sinfulness from across the sky. You have to go
where the need is. The first
message of the gospel is the incarnation of Jesus
Christ. “The Word became flesh and dwelt
among us,” writes John (1:14). We are lost, and God
comes to find us in the person of his
Son. The Creator stoops to our level in order to redeem
us. In the same way Jesus eats
with sinners in order to redeem them.

This parable ends on a joyous note. Everyone is happy
except the Pharisees, who grumble: “This man receives
sinners, and eats with them.” Of course he does.


Gracious God, show me how I might find lost sheep. Amen.