This is the first of three parables that Jesus tells. They are all connected with a central theme of finding things that are lost. We hear The Parable of the Lost Sheep in Luke 15:3-7: 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.
The listeners to this story would have been astounded. Shepherds never lose sheep, and even if they did they would never leave the 99 in open ground to go find just one. To top it all off he didn’t try to hide it he had a big party! I am sure there were gasps in the audience. They never heard such a tale before.
God loves us more than that shepherd loved his sheep.
If He loves us that much how much more should we love one another?
Today and always – love the unlovely and lost in this world. Amen?