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 15:6-7
Jesus tells the parable of the shepherd who was putting his sheep in the pen for the night and discovered one was missing. He secures the 99 and goes out to find the one. If you’ve heard many sermons you will hear someone talk about the lost sheep that was found. This story tells of a shepherds love for his flock and the joy he experiences when a lost sheep is found.
The subject in this story is not lost sheep but it is about sinners being found by the Good Shepherd. When he gets to the part where the shepherd is returning with the sheep that was lost but now is found he says, “Rejoice with me.” There is a principle here and it is this: When our heart is pure there is great joy when others receive a blessing.
In this chapter 15 of Luke Jesus tells three stories of things that were lost and then found. There is the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son. In all three there is the message of joy at finding the thing that was lost. In each one Jesus compares the joy to the joy that is in heaven when one sinner comes to Christ.
I also see another principle in this story. It is the principle of hope in the face of adversity. There was the crisis; the sheep was lost. There was the hope of finding the sheep that drove the shepherd out into the night to search for the sheep. When we see those who have lost their way we should look at them with hope and offer hope to them. Then we must be ready to rejoice with them when the find the Good Shepherd.
Prayer: Lord, it is in my nature to be smug when someone encounters hardship and feel jealous when others are blessed. Grant me the grace love others as you love them. That I will hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they rejoice. In Jesus name.
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