“Now the tax collectors
and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the
teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and
loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go
after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts
it on his shoulders and goes home. 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
I asked myself who are all the
characters involved in this parable?
1. Tax collectors
4. Teachers of the law
I asked myself what was the
connection between all of them?
Jesus was surrounded by tax collectors and sinners who
wanted to hear him while the Pharisees and teachers of the law were there
muttering about Jesus’ willingness to not only welcome sinners but eat with
I asked myself
what does Jesus do specifically and the significance of it?
I learned even though the Pharisees and teachers of the
law were muttering among themselves about Jesus’ actions, Jesus is able to see
right through them and decides to respond to their lack of care with a parable.
I find it very interesting that Jesus does not just tell
the parable but makes it personal to them by using “you”. This is evidenced by
Jesus’ statement, "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep
and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and
go after the lost sheep until he finds it?"
Jesus does not end it there but provides them a
When he finds it,
Point 1: He joyfully puts it on his shoulders!
There is a deep affection and caring involved here. The
person does not just let it walk by itself but decides to carry it after it gets
Point 2: He goes home!
This implied to me that one sheep is so important that
until that sheep is found, the person does not even go home.
Point 3: Calls friends!
The person is so happy to find the lost sheep that he
calls his friends to rejoice with him.
Point 4: Calls neighbors!
The joy is so much that even his neighbors who are not
necessarily considered friends are called in to rejoice with him.
These all are done for finding a lost sheep! I felt like
this parable was also a chastisement of the Pharisees and teachers of the law
for their lack of care for other human beings.
Jesus is letting them know how far they would go to find
a lost sheep without thinking they still have 99 left. Not only that but he is
letting them know their joy for finding an animal and going as far as calling
their friends and neighbors to rejoice with them. It is just one sheep yet all
that is done!
Through this parable I saw Jesus posing an important
question to them in their arrogance and lack of care for other human beings not
Should not you be rejoicing that
tax collectors and sinners who have been lost are willing to come and hear God’s
message and could be found?
Not only that but should you not
be happy that I am willing to spend time with those that are lost by welcoming
them and eating with them so they can be changed as they spend time in my
Jesus lets them know that they should be caring for tax
collectors and sinners who are lost as they would care for a lost sheep. Not
only that but they should rejoice when sinners repent and turn from their wicked
Jesus ends with a profound statement:
“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.”
I saw important implications for my own life here.
For starters just because I am a follower of Christ, I
should not look down on people who are not followers of Christ.
Tax collectors in those days were despised and hated.
When people are hated, they are not comfortable being around people who hate
them unless the person being hated has power over the haters. Many would have
hated them but not Jesus!
Jesus welcomed them as they were, to hear his message.
Not only that but he spent time with them by eating with them. I think about the
times I have eaten with friends and the amount of time that is spent talking and
listening during the meal time.
It is amazing that Jesus welcomed them and ate with tax
collectors and sinners combined. Jesus purpose was to reach out to them in their
I need to do the same thing and not shell myself with
just Christians. Fellowship is important but just having fellowship with
believers does not put into practice the Great Commission. Fellowship should be
a springboard for me to go out and interact with unbelievers.
I need to take time to accept those that do not see
things the Christian way and also be willing to spend time with them. Once a
relationship is built, a trust can be built too. From that, times can be spent
eating together and sharing with one another.
I believe when Jesus ate with others, He did not stop
spreading the Gospel message in his interaction at the table. It is possible
when we eat with those that are not believers in Christ, an opportunity to
present the Gospel could be present. It starts with having a attitude of caring,
sharing, and praying for them.
There is thanksgiving and rejoicing even over 1 person
who comes into the Kingdom of Heaven. The rejoicing is so great that there is a
party. The person who came into the Kingdom will be so thankful that you did not
abandon them but welcomed them in their shortcomings to present the message of
Right now since Jesus does not walk the earth in a
physical form, He wants us to carry out His Great Commission as we are empowered
by His Holy Spirit.
It is not up to us to decide that we are not going to
spend time engaging with non-Christians if we say we have the Spirit of the
Living God in us. For Jesus did not stop presenting God’s message.
Of course this does not mean we stop having fellowship
with believers for that is needed to build one another up as we go to minister.
I ask you now dear friend, who
will give God a thanksgiving because of you?
Dear friend, you have an opportunity to touch people’s
lives with the love of Christ. For you will encounter people that have beliefs
that are totally against yours! For you will encounter people whose actions are
so sinful that you just want to stay away from them. But, Jesus teaches us and
reminds us that it is those that need welcoming. You have the opportunity to
welcome and spend time with those that are doing things that are totally against
God’s Word. This opportunity is to reach out to them as you build a relationship
with them that blossoms because of your love as you care, pray for them and
share your life.
Friend, as the Lord Jesus welcomed sinners and tax
collectors to also eat with him and hear His message, we need to do that too.
As Christians if we stay away from those people whose
actions we see as repugnant, than how are we different from the Pharisees and
teachers of the law?
I believe the Lord uses us to continue His message
through the empowerment of His Holy Spirit. We need to act on the Great
Commission which is a command.
The outcome could be awesome when they repent and come
into the Kingdom. Jesus’ parable suggests that sinners who are welcomed and
cared for will come into the Kingdom. You can be that one to reach out to
someone in need.
Yet, they are not to be our projects but we must love
them as the Lord loves us. This goes to believers and unbelievers who are not
walking in fellowship with the Lord. As they are cared for, they will see God
working in their own lives and repent of their wrongdoings and come into the
Kingdom of Heaven.
Then there will be thanksgiving and rejoicing over that
sinner who is saved and there will be an awesome party in Heaven!
Friend, we have so much to be thankful for this
thanksgiving especially for what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary
by saving us by His cleansing blood as we came to Him. Now we can have a
relationship with the Creator of the Universe!
May you all give all thanksgiving and praise to the
Father of Lights for all that He has done for you in your life and will continue
to do, for He loves you so much and cares for you even when you do not
understand why things happen the way they do! Amen!
"Thank Healing And Nurturing Kind
Savior Greatly Indeed, Valiantly Invoking New Giving!" (T.H.A.N.K.S.G.I.V.I.N.G)/"Who
will give God a T.H.A.N.K.S.G.I.V.I.N.G because of you?"
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for the
story of the parable of the lost sheep. The sheep that is found is carried on
the shepherd’s shoulder and taken home. I thank you Lord when we were lost, you
looked for us by paying the price on the cross of Calvary sending a signal with
your blood. Lord, you have attracted us by your blood so we can come to you. Now
as we are near and take your blood, you cover us with it and cleanse us of all
our impurities. I thank you so much Jesus. You became the Lamb of God and our
Good Shepherd as you found us. I once was lost but now I am found because of you
Jesus. I thank you for that. Thank you for using those in our lives who did not
give up on us but continued to care for us, accept us, and eat with us even in
our shortcomings. I thank you Lord for their love for you that they showed it by
presenting you to us so we can come to know you as we seek you. Help us Lord on
this Thanksgiving Day to be thankful for those that have helped us make the step
into your Kingdom Lord. Now Lord, please let us take your example and reach out
to others with your love. I thank you so much Jesus for your help. Thank you for
being there for us and loving us. Hear our prayer and answer us Oh Lord. Thank
you so much Jesus for hearing our prayers and answering us. In Your Name I Pray