Summary: The Lord Jesus values one soul more than all the riches in the world.
LOST, FOUND AND RESTORED
"3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance." Luke 15:3-7.
A shepherd was out with his sheep when one of them went missing. Out there alone, the lost sheep is not safe and headed for destruction. So he goes in search of it. Bringing back the lost sheep became his mission. The shepherd left ninety-nine sheep in the fold and goes in search of the lost one. He left his home to venture to dangerous places in search of it. He would not rest until he had found his lost sheep. Even the scorching desert sun will not hinder his search. He crosses the raging rivers, climbs slippery hills, and dark valleys. The shepherd could have given up on his search, after all; he still had ninety-nine others in a safe place. But he didn’t! The shepherd went all the way, sacrificing his time, energy, comfort, rest, and happiness, to look for a stray sheep. To him, every sheep is important! Until he finds it, he will not relent nor lose hope. Upon finding the lost sheep, the shepherd is not angry or upset. He carries it home and celebrated it with his friends. In the same way, we often go astray like sheep and wander away from our Shepherd. Yet He doesn't give up on us.
"for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10.
The verse above sums up the entire life and ministry of our Lord. Jesus Christ came to seek and to save. The word 'save' means "to make whole and to completely restore." Christ humbled Himself, took the form of a servant, and became obedient to the point of death to save us. He is our Good Shepherd! He restored our lost relationship to the Father. Jesus made a way for us to have access to The Most Holy Place. "All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:6. He knows each of us by name. Jesus came to reach out to the outcasts. The sheep may have wandered away from His presence, but it was still precious to Him. He longs for the lost sheep to come home. The Lord actively reaches out to spiritual drifters and backsliders. He promises restoration to those who return.
“For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26.
God desires that everyone is saved. He values every soul. Every soul is important. Even though there are billions of people in the world. Yet He cares about you. You're precious in His sight. God loves you so much that, He'll not let you wander, go astray, and be lost forever. He will never leave you. Nothing you can do will ever separate you from His love. Every sheep is important to the shepherd. Every person is important to God.
"He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:16.
Peter and Judas both sinned. While Peter was remorseful, forgiven, and restored. We are told in Matthew 27:3, that Judas, though regretted his actions. But, was unable to return to Jesus to seek forgiveness. Judas felt bad about what he had done. So bad that he committed suicide. But he never turned back to the Lord. Judas did not humble himself before God. It takes humility to repent.
The Bible says we have all sinned. Romans 3:9-12. So the question is, will we be more like Judas or Peter? Will we react like Peter and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and restoration? Or will we react like Judas and give up? Jesus is calling you. Confess your sins. Let Him forgive you. And let Him use you to be an agent of His grace, forgiveness, and restoration in the lives of others. If you will genuinely turn back to Him, He'll restore.