Stop trying to find the one lost sheep…… Be the one lost sheep!
In Luke 15, Jesus said that when a shepherd has lost one sheep, he will leave all the others to find that one and bring it home. We tend to interpret this to mean that we need to be the shepherd and bring back the lost sheep–the dismayed former church member.
Actually, we have expended a lot of energy and effort trying to do this. However, is our understanding of this parable correct?
In the book “Fresh Eyes to read the Bible I” the author points out that if we interpret this fundamental parable in this way, then we misunderstand Jesus’ message.
Firstly, when the shepherd(Jesus) found the one lost sheep, he brought it to his home and did not return it to the wilderness where the sheep had been; where the other 99 sheep were.
Secondly, the shepherd shows great joy over the one lost sheep that was found, not over the remaining 99 sheep.
Thirdly, the shepherd is the friend of the one lost sheep, not the 99 sheep, because he brought it to his home where his friends were.
The one lost sheep, when found by the shepherd, represents the repentant sinner who is in the kingdom of God and the 99 remaining sheep represent the self-righteous and non-repentant sinners, who are in the wilderness.
Through this book, you may be shocked to realize that what you understand of the Bible is quite different to the real meaning of the Scripture. You now need a fresh perspective!