Daily Devotional: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

Time Alone With God

Read: Luke 15:1-7

Daily Devotional: The Parable of the Lost Sheep

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 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.

Daily Devotional Begin:

Consider: As happened so many times in Jesus’ ministry, he found himself teaching and sharing parables to two different—and very contrasting—audiences at the same time. Before Luke shared with us Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep, he told us who was listening—those who were considered to be the worst of sinners (including tax collectors) and those who saw themselves as the righteous ones (the Pharisees and the teachers of the law).

Knowing who Jesus was talking to, helps us understand the point of his parable…

“There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (15:7)

On its own, that statement doesn’t make sense. Wouldn’t we rejoice more if people kept their lives pure? Wouldn’t we be happier about ninety-nine people who did it right than we would be about one person who finally got it right after making a mess of things?

Well, we know there really is no such thing as a person who does not need to repent. But Jesus was looking at “ninety-nine” Pharisees who were convinced that they didn’t need to. And because they couldn’t see their own need for repentance, Jesus knew that they weren’t ready to see what God wanted to do in their lives. So the shepherd went to those who knew they were lost.

By the way, this story contains a powerful truth about Jesus. And if we don’t understand it, we don’t know who God is. It comes from the mouths of the Pharisees who muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them” (15:2).

That’s where we get that beautiful name for Jesus—“a friend of sinners.” That name should be our name as well.

Pray: “Lord, thank you for loving me. Help me to love others—regardless of their actions—in the manner that you love them. Keep me humble before you. I realize that if I’m ever convinced that I no longer need to change, I close the door on the work that you want to do in my life.”

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