Through Jesus’ continuing use of the sheep/shepherd metaphor we learn some important things about God’s involvement in peoples’ lives. Jesus echoed what the ancient Scriptures spoke of. What is a good shepherd?

Ezekiel 34:
11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord.16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

God says that this is what is in his heart towards people. Ezekiel described 4 characteristics that are consistent with Jesus’ leadership. As Jesus’ followers, have these values started to grow in us?

1.     God searches for the lost
2.     God brings back the strays
3.     God binds up the injured
4.     God strengthens the weak

Jesus spoke of 1 in 100 that were lost. 1% was serious enough for the shepherd to leave his associates in charge of the 99% so the 1 could be found and brought back. Maybe Jesus modestly speaks about 1% since the leaders probably thought was their statistic for losing followers. They may not have comprehended how many lost sheep there were.

One lost sheep is all it takes to move God’s heart to action. As we think about those who have drifted away from God’s family, I am suspicious of the statistics here. I am thinking that 1% is too modest a number in counting the losses. The problem of lost sheep should cause us to actively engage in search and rescue.


Cherie Gagnon said…
I've always been fascinated with the story of the one lost sheep. I think we can broadly apply that principal to so many situations. In schools, for example, they may feel like they are doing a good job if most of the kids are succeeding and not worry about the handful who are struggling. What about accessibility to into churches and living arrangements. It's okay to shut out the few who use wheelchairs and walkers? What about us parents...what's the big deal about not sending a peanut butter sandwich to school if another child there might die if exposed to peanut products.

The bottom line is that one person is important enough.
Kevin Rogers said…
Good application Cherie!