Daily Reflection – 6/28/19
Jesus addressed this parable to the scribes and Pharisees: “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”( Luke 15:3-7)
The parable begins with a straying sheep. A sheep apart from its shepherd is defenseless and in grave danger. Jesus views any person apart from Him as lost. How is he lost? His sins alienate him from the holy God, leaving him groping aimlessly in darkness. The shepherd in the story, however, didn’t despise his straying sheep. With a heart of compassion, Jesus also values each sinner the Father entrusts Him.
“The parable of the lost sheep also illustrates Christ’s attitude toward the saved sinner. The parable gives no indication of the shepherd ever rebuking or chiding. Instead, he hoists the sheep upon his shoulders and takes it home. An adult sheep may weigh anywhere from 110 to 125 pounds; it would be no small effort to carry one over the shoulder. For joy over finding that which was lost, the shepherd bears the discomfort. Likewise, Jesus bore the weight of our sins upon the cross. As High Priest and Mediator, He continues to bear our cares and infirmities before the Father. “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness. . . . For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:24-25).
Finally, the parable of the lost sheep offers an extraordinary glimpse of heavenly emotions. The shepherd calls his friends and neighbors together, saying, “Rejoice with me.” The rescue of the lost sheep was a cause for proclamation and celebration. Similarly, Heaven rejoices when a sinner repents and is restored to fellowship with God. This joy is cheerfulness; it is calm, considered delight. It is a deliberate emotion — thoughtful and sustained. This is not a picture of raucous dancing and carousing but of lasting pleasure and heartfelt satisfaction. Why? A sinner has come home! Such news delights the heart of heaven.
Since the beginning, God has been the Good Shepherd who rescues His lost sheep. When Adam and Eve were hiding in shame because of their sin, He sought them out. Yes, He disciplined them. But He promised a Rescuer. Until Christ’s death for their sins, He forgave them by their faith and covered them with animal skins. God still reaches out for the lost to cover and recover them through the blood of Jesus Christ.
Prayer of The Day
Father above we thank you for the gift of this day. Guide us in all that we do, and glory be to you for all that we have and all that we are. Lord we pray for all those who are lost in this world and who do not know your love. May they be brought to the joy and peace that can only be found in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The message of today’s feast and of today’s reading is the most basic truth of all: God loves us, and he sent his Son who loved us to the very end, shedding his blood for us. Like all love, in all its forms, it is something we can never contemplate enough, it is beyond our grasp. Yet I know it is there and makes a huge difference in my life.