Matthew 18;12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off?”
The little believer sheep from last week had gotten himself in a real mess! He was lost and he could not extricate himself. He couldn’t get off the dangerous precipice by himself. He was not even sure how he got there. He’d lost sight of the flock and the shepherd long ago.
But the Shepherd already knew that one of his own was missing. The search began. Love propelled him into the darkness-up the steep mountain path – into the cold, stormy, wind swept night.
Love guided His sandaled feet. He ignored the turned ankles, the gashes from thorns and the bruising from jagged rocks. The bone chilling cold did not deter him. He just kept coming, up the dark, treacherous path.
Love drew him until His eyes fixed upon the trembling lost lamb. It’s a picture of us. WE leave, WE stray, WE mess up, WE get lost and no one comes for us, but HIM.
And what did the Shepherd do? Did He berate or scream at the sheep? Did he kick at him to prod him down the path to safety? No! He hurried to him. He bent his knee so He could speak softly to his lost sheep to reassure him that he was safe – that rescue had come. He held the lantern close so the sheep could see His face clearly.
Then the Shepherd picked up the shivering sheep and held him against his warm body, offering warmth and life and hope. He secured His hooves (the same one that wandered from the Shepherd’s care) around his shoulders and held them tightly together so the sheep would not fall off.
Then the Shepherd bore the weight of the lost one and took him down the treacherous path to the safety of the flock.
This story is the picture of hope that the Bible provides for a Christian who has wandered away – who has made terrible choices and now finds themselves lost.
Every heartbeat of Jesus was for US. Every life word He spoke was a beacon to light our darkness, to illuminate truth. When He was ridiculed, He didn’t stop. When they spit on Him, He kept coming. When He was beaten and rejected, He never wavered. He kept searching.
Through the screaming, mocking crowd, He heard the bleating of one lost lamb – YOU and ME! The lost CAN be found!
~ Vickie Richey
Christ Fellowship member