Welcome to our online Bible study on Luke!
Read: Luke 15:1-10
I read today’s passage and my mind fills with a cinematic reel of a shepherd looking for his lost sheep . . .
The field hand starts off in a green meadow surrounded by his flock. His eyes systematically count the white woolen crowd with a comfortable ease. But when he comes up one sheep short, laser seriousness sets in.
He takes long strides through the tall grass, calling out the name of his lost lamb. Soon the meadow gives way to more rugged terrain. The shepherd uses his staff to help secure his footing as he ascends the rocky hillside.
Beloved! he calls. Chosen! Accepted! I am here for you. Come back to me!
Steep ravines and hazardous cliffs ignite peril at every turn. But the shepherd pushes forward. He will not turn back until he has found the lost one. He will not give up until every member of his flock is safe.
The sun begins to plunge toward the horizon. The pitch of night is upon him. But the shepherd is relentless. He presses on as if darkness is light to him.
Barking coyotes and howling wolves pierce through the cadence of the shepherd’s labored breathing. The threats are fierce, but the shepherd’s love is fiercer.
He continues his rescue pursuit.
. . . Suddenly, my imagined drama is interrupted by the image of someone I know. Someone who is lost. Very, very lost.
In the quiet of my spirit God asks, “Is this person not my lost sheep, too?”
It’s a question I really don’t want to answer. I don’t even want to consider it. This sheep has strayed so far for so long, and done so much damage to the rest of the flock, I no longer see this person as a lamb. I see this person as a wolf.
But what does God see? His lost beloved.
Won’t He leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until He finds it? And when He has found it, He will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. (Luke 15:4-5)
It’s not if the Shepherd will find the lost sheep, but when.
And when He does, will I be ready to rejoice?