"Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" Luke 15:3-4
In my previous post I decried the lack of urgeny over lost people. That is the point Jesus is trying to make in Luke 15.
So, we understand what lostness is, how does it happen?
How does a sheep get lost?
Have you ever thought about how sheep get lost? Even with a shepherd, they still get lost. How does this happen?
Sheep get lost through their nibbling.
As Joel Preston says: -Sheep are stubborn. Sheep can get easily lost because they tend to go their own way. Sheep get lost by nibbling away at the grass and never looking up.
The issue for sheep is their ability to stay focused. They see a nice patch of grass and think, “Mmm, this looks nice, maybe I’ll have a little taste.” They finish the bit of grass and without looking up, they move and continue grazing. They nibble a little here, then a little there. They take a few steps and nibble a little more. Before they realize it, they are lost. Sheep made a series of small choices that led them away from the flock.
A sheep gets lost by his nature.
The nature of a sheep is to get lost. It is in his DNA. It is like he has a lostness gene or something. That is a pretty sad situation. Sad, but true!
Why should we care about sheep? Why should sheep matter to us? They are stupid, stubborn and of little value.
WE ARE THE SHEEP! THIS STORY IS NOT REALLY ABOUT SHEEP IT IS ABOUT US. Everything that Jesus is pointing out about sheep in this story applies to us. This is how we get lost.
We nibble. It is in our nature to nibble our way into lostness. We nibble away at sin over here and we nibble at sin over there and with our focus on sin, we drift further away from the shepherd and the other sheep.
We have a sinful nature. It is in our DNA. We are born with a sinful nature that we inherited from Adam and Eve. So, we come into this world lost and separated from the Good Shepherd, Jesus. We aren't sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners.
The urgency Jesus expresses in this story is precisely for this reason, people He loves and cares for are lost and will remain lost until reached by a shepherd.
If you are lost, or if you care about someone who is. What are you waiting for? How can you be casual about that risky condition? How will you face that lost friend in eternity and explain to them why you never tried to reach them? How will you explain that to the shepherd?