Good Sunday Morning! I hope you had a good weekend.
A couple of Sundays ago, the pastor at our church spoke about the “Value of One,” and shared about the parable Jesus told of the lost sheep. I’ve heard this parable (story) so many times growing up…
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.”
Luke 15: 3-7
I’ve always loved that story, haven’t you? Jesus would tell parables to people to make a point. He would use the story to help them understand his message and put it in ways they could understand it. And they understood how amazing it was for a shepherd to leave his whole flock to go searching for “the one” that went missing. The one that went astray. The one that was lost.
In that story, God is the shepherd and we are the sheep. We’ve all gone astray at some point in our lives, and we have all been lost. But Jesus seeks us out and searches for us til He finds us! Oh how He loves you and me!
I’ve always focused on the part of the scripture where the shepherd finds the sheep, but something different stuck out to me that Sunday morning a few weeks ago. In verse 5 it says..
“…And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and goes home.”
Jesus JOYFULLY carries us home!
He carries us. We don’t have to find our way back home by ourselves or in our own strength. Is that amazing?!
So many times when we feel lost or far way from Jesus, we feel we will never be good enough to get back to him or that we won’t be able to find our way back to him. And actually, that is true. There is nothing WE can do in our own strength to make it back to Jesus. It is JESUS who picks us up…just as we are (lost,) and carries us home. It is His strength that carries us, not ours.
Isn’t that beautiful?
And He does it joyfully. He finds JOY in caring for us and bringing us home.
Then I started thinking about the sheep while it is being carried by the shepherd. What is it doing?… Nothing, but resting on the shoulders of the shepherd. The sheep just stays still, rests, and lets the shepherd carry him.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that I can rest on Jesus. I don’t have to “do, do, do” to make Him love me. He loves me as I am…a sinner in need of forgiveness. And when I let Him pick me up, and when I rest in Him, and when He carries me, there is a Peace like nothing I’ve ever felt in this world. The Peace of God which passes all understanding floods my soul.
It is all about Jesus. It what HE does for us…nothing we do for ourselves. It’s all about Him and only Him.
Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for loving each and every one of us!