Parable of the Lost Sheep
Parable of the Lost Sheep (a “Deeper Dive” Commentary)
In Luke 15:3-7 and Matthew 18: 10-14, Jesus taught His disciples a simple story to illustrate a spiritual truth. Jesus taught about a shepherd who had 100 sheep, and one of the sheep wondered off by itself. The sheep was lost; the word “lost” is the same word that means “perish.” In other words, in great danger, headed for destruction, because it had left the safely of shepherd’s flock. A shepherd knows all of his sheep and is concerned about the condition of every one of them. He decides to go after that sheep and save it, because it went astray!
God knows whether people are saved or lost, he knows the condition of every lost soul and devised a plan to do something about it. He sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for their sins so they wouldn’t have to be punished. By coming to earth as a human being, Jesus died on a cross to reconcile us to a Holy God, because we were spiritually separated from Him due to our sinful nature inherited from our natural parents.
That lost sheep in the story may have wandered away from the shepherd, but because the shepherd is a “good” shepherd who loves and cares about his sheep, he went looking for it. Another shepherd might have counted the 99 and decided it wouldn’t be worth his trouble, and the time it would cost him to go after just one dumb sheep. But Jesus is not like that, He is the “Good Shepherd” who came to this world to give His life because He cares about us.
The shepherd in this story didn’t stop until his mission had been completed and the sheep had been found! The final words that Jesus cried out on a cross when He was crucified was “It is finished.” The Good Shepherd perfectly fulfilled His mission, and all those who believe in what He did for them by shedding His sinless blood are saved, adopted into God’s family, and guaranteed a home in Heaven. The sheep that was lost was now found, saved because of what the Good Shepherd did for it. The word “saved” means “to rescue from all harm.” That’s what Jesus, the Great Shepherd, did for all of us to deliver us from the penalty and power of sin.
By believing that fact, God declares us righteous, meaning just as if we had never sinned at all, which gives us the legal right to make us fit to enter a holy heaven.
That sheep in this story may have been dumb enough to have wandered away from the flock, but getting it home was the responsibility of that good shepherd who owned it.
When the good shepherd found that sheep, he saved it and brought it home where it belongs. Jesus said in John 10:28, I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. True believers in Christ are described by Jesus as sheep; the Lord’s sheep are saved by God’s gift of undeserved grace.
Jesus said he came into this world to “seek and to save that which is lost.” You don’t need to worry about being lost ever again, just as long as you place your faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible makes it clear that all the angels in heaven rejoice over every sinner who comes to Jesus by faith that secures eternal salvation for their lost soul.
Because of that new spiritual rebirth, our relationship with Christ restores fellowship between a Holy God and lost sinners.
Are you in a relationship with the Good Shepherd? or are you still lost? If so, then you can be saved, but only if you come to the one who can help you, and who died for you to take away your sins. His name is Jesus Christ.