Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:1-7, NRSV)
This starts the chapter of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son.
We have heard this chapter over and over in our Christian walk, as our desire to become closer to Jesus and better disciples. We look at this chapter and learn what it means to repent.
I mean that is what these stories are all about right, repenting?
I mean the prodigal son runs away from home and figure out he was wrong and he repents. Well maybe…
But answer me, how does a sheep repent?
Now I do not know sheep or their mannerisms. I know a dog can repent and I have seen it. The downward gaze, crouched down with the tail between their legs. The I’m so sorry look…
But how does a sheep repent?
(Warning: Bad joke coming)
A sheep repents by saying, “I’m sorry I’ve been baaaaaaaad.”
This parable is not about the lost sheep, it is about the loving shepherd that leaves the 99 sheep in danger because of His love for all the sheep.
Even when we wander away, He will come looking and when He finds us, He will not scold us, but throw a party because we are safe back in His arms!
So repent, but know that you are loved by one who will search the mountain side for you!