“For What Am I to myself without you but a guide to my own downfall” (Confessions of Saint Augustine). No sheep was created to lead it’s own life but rather to submit into the hand of the shepherd. The Shepherd could not only see past their present circumstance but also willing to lay down his life to pursue each sheep no matter how far they wandered off. The parable of the lost sheep is one of the most beautiful displays of the love God has for us, it reminds us that no matter how far we may wander away from him, he will relentlessly pursue us until we are found.
The Lost Sheep
Everyone of us, has at some point been the lost sheep in the parable, we’ve wandered off into our own path forgetting that we can go no where without the the guidance of the shepherd. Like the lost sheep, we couldn’t see the consequences of aimless wandering which could ultimately lead to a state of lostness. The crazy part about being lost is that most times we are certain that we are on the right path, since we can follow whatever direction seems right we tend to justify our choices because we can’t see past our present circumstance.
As I sat in the church this morning relearning the parable of the lost sheep from four different perspectives, I learnt that the reason Jesus metaphorically uses sheep to describe humanity is because we embody similar characteristics. Just like the sheep, we can go no where without the shepherd. Sheep are in constant need of direction, at every stage of their life line because without guidance they are lost. Once you understand that you are in need of a shepherd not because of any weakness but rather because of your nature, you recognize the importance of being led by a shepherd .
You were created to fall under the authority of someone who could look beyond your present circumstances and protect you from what you couldn’t see in the moment.
Jesus declares “I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd gives his life for his sheep”.
The most distinctive character trait of a shepherd is their willingness to sacrifice their life for the sheep. The reason they give their lives up is because they recognize that sheep are so dependent, they are in need of undivided attention. It explains why in the parable the shepherd recognized that if he didn’t come back for the one that was lost, he would be doomed in an eternal state of hopelessness and loss. The challenge lies in understanding that you are simply a sheep who is in need of guidance at each stage of life.
My Sheep hear my voice
“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they know me”
The only way to know if you are part of Jesus’s flock is your ability to hear him. It can be hard obeying the voice at first but the simplicity in hearing him is what sets you apart. There are seasons when you might feel lost, too far gone or your heart is too hardened by the various trials in life. The loss of hope is rooted in the fact the you have chosen to stop listening to God, like the lost sheep you have decided to become your own shepherd and it leads to nothing but directionless and a sense of no purpose.
Love Pursues Relentlessly
“God’s love pursues relentlessly regardless of how lost you might feel, he will always choose to leave the 99 only to come and find you.”
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
Man God loves you so much, and when the enemy tries to convince you that you are far too gone and there is simply no hope for you, Jesus in this parable reminds us that our father loves us too much to let us wander off in a state of lostness. He loves us too much to stop pursuing us no matter how many times we willingly choose to be the shepherds of our lives. He will always choose to pursue the one.
I hope you meditate on to this scripture which reminds us of the nature of God’s love. Love pursues against all odds, love is not logical, it defeats all reasoning but Love is sacrifice, Love is found in the shepherd who so willingly laid down his life so he could lead us. Love will always pursue you, no matter how lost you might feel.