PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: Matthew 18:11-14
What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?
“He is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine.” (Matthew 18:14)
This statement can be somewhat misleading, and yet it makes an important point.
It is not that the shepherd is not happy about the ninety-nine, he loves them too.
But his happiness is magnified when something happens to any one of them.
If one gets sick, or is attacked by a wolf… he is happy to heal or save them.
The joy of his love is magnified when they’re in trouble, whether by choice or circumstance.
God does not forget the Jews to pursue the Gentiles, he wants them all to come home.
God does not leave the church to find the non-churched, he love them all the same.
In the context Jesus is speaking about the little ones, the vulnerable and needy.
The lambs that have wandered, or been scattered, or neglected, or abused.
In some ways, the church is the ninety-nine that the shepherd leaves to find the lost.
It is not that Jesus does not love us, but his love is magnified for those not with him.
Is our love magnified for the weak, the lost, the wandering… or do we judge them for it?
Like Jesus, shouldn’t we leave the comfort of church for their sake?
Like Jesus, shouldn’t our happiness be magnified when we see them coming to him?
Lord, I am inspired by your love for the weak and wandering. I see you leaving the comfort of church for their sake, and am compelled to join you! Make me happy with you in this!
i count – the individual counts. Its not about a mass movement or popularity – its about responding to need and having that need met in love by a ‘shepherd’ who is not a hireling but one that acts like an owner who cares for each one of their own! I am a much loved child of God – and there are many more. Lord help me to love and care for each one – to reach out especially to those who have lost their footing/their way in life! Help me to care and to reach out appropriately!