“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in
the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when
he hath found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calls together his friends and
neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep
which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over
one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which
need no repentance.” (Luke 15:4-7)
Jesus is the Good
Shepherd. (John 10:11,14) A good shepherd will never rest until every
lost sheep is found and returned to the sheepfold.
A good shepherd
will leave his flock under the guardianship of another and go off hunting
for that one sheep that has wandered.
Every sheep is precious to the
shepherd. Every ewe, every lamb, every ram is precious to the Good
In the Bible, sheep
are often used to picture the lost spiritual condition of humanity.
The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned
every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him (Jesus) the
iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6)
Some have wrongly
taught that Jesus compared people to sheep because “sheep are exceedingly
dumb and completely lack sense.” They could not be more wrong.
My wife and I both have a great love for sheep. We’ve taken much time
to learn all we can about them and to understand them.
Sheep, in fact, are
very intelligent. They can actually learn their own individual name
and come to you when called by name.
Sheep have the reputation of
being “dumb” because of the way they protect themselves from
predators. They have no biting-type teeth, no claws, no quills, no
odorous scent to spray, etc.
Sheep defend themselves by simply
fleeing. When flocking together and running they often bang into
unseen obstacles, which make them appear to be “stupid” when they are not.
Jesus did not
compare us to sheep because we are “dumb” or “stupid.”
us to sheep because we are defenseless and unprotected without Him, the
Good Shepherd. We are like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36)
Jesus also compared
us to sheep because they were one of the most precious commodities of His
day. We are precious to Him.
When any one of us is lost in our
sin, He’ll take the time, pay any price and go to every effort to find and
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that
which was lost.“ (Luke 19:10) He’s the