Luke 15:4 (KJV) 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Even though one seems to be insignificant and unnoticeable in the company of a hundred, this isn’t the case when it comes to sheep – at least those referred to in the story. To the shepherd, each sheep is of very high value. That’s the reason why he knows the number of the sheep to the detail. He knows when one is lost – even only one. And one lost sheep is enough reason for the shepherd to do an all-out search – and an unceasing search that will only find satisfaction when the lost sheep is finally found.
Every soul is valuable before God. It’s often been stated that if we we’re the only person on earth, God would have still sent His Son to die on the cross just to save us. There sadly are lost souls. Sadder still: there will be souls lost for eternity. But not because the Great Shepherd lacked to show sufficient care and action; He has shown us that He was willing to go to great lengths and spare no expense for our salvation. He went all-out, crossing the borders of the eternal and gave us the “Darling of heaven” – the greatest Treasure we can find in heaven and on earth and anywhere else – His Son. Every one of us is that important to Him. Let us see others, and ourselves the same way and do nothing less than our best in going after those who are lost.
Precious Father, thank you for valuing each of us as much as you do. May we see each other the same way. May we also humbly and gratefully value You for Who You are. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Luke 13:1-3 (KJV) There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Certain Galileans suffered murder from the hands of Pilate while they were in the middle of their religious activity. The Galileans suffered; His audience obviously didn’t. Jesus found it imperative that He quickly clarified what may otherwise could have come to an erroneous conclusion, belief and doctrine. The suffering of the Galileans and the “non-suffering in the same way” of the audience was not a divine indicator of who was more sinful. It was not necessarily an insightful commentary of their varying spiritual conditions. But it’s worth noting: Jesus’ reference was not between sinners and a non-sinners; It was between sinners and greater sinners. Implication: the Galileans who suffered and those who didn’t were all sinners who will all perish unless repentance happens. With that He showed an indispensable essential act everyone has to undergo for any possibility of escape from perishing: repentance.
Suffering and tragedy hits everyone. Being accused wrongly, being betrayed, getting into accident, getting sick, losing a parent, losing a child, losing a friend, losing money, losing everything – these are experiences shared in all strata of society. Not everyone experiences every suffering and every tragedy, but anyone can and will experience sufferings and tragedies. Great sinners and not-so-great sinners all share in human experiences – good and bad. Apostle Paul and Fuhrer Hitler both suffered – both died. Both of them sinned. Paul described himself as the chief of all sinners; Hitler is a generally accepted figure of great sinfulness. Both of them could have perished and suffered eternal destruction. We know for sure that the self-confessed chief of all sinners repented, thus was saved and became one of the greatest Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ. We don’t know of the Fuhrer. Perish or not, it’s not because he was a sinner above all humans or not, it was dependent totally on whether he repented or not. Let me quickly add: if He believed (fully trusted and depended in) Jesus as his Savior Who was able to forgive him of all his sins if he repented from them. Whoever we are, no matter how highly or how lowly we’re esteemed in our sphere – natural or spiritual, we’ve all sinned. Unless we abnormally want to perish, repentance is a must. Le’t humbly ask for forgiveness – turn away from our sins, and simultaneously turn to God.
Forgiving Father, thank you for the hope you’ve given us despite our sinfulness. We turn away from our sins. Thank You for being our Savior Who can and will forgive.