So He told them this parable: “What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it?”
We all know the feeling of losing something valuable to us. No human losing their car keys thinks casually about finding them. We immediately begin to search for fear that they will not be found. No shepherd would ever count their losses when losing one sheep out of their flock of 100. After herding the sheep all day to a safe and fertile place, the shepherd would count how many sheep arrived safely. For him to find one is missing would be no small thing—for the sheep were very valuable to him, his family and his livelihood. So everyone listening to this parable would have understood: this is the practice of all humans who have ownership or stewardship over something.
Even the pharisees would act this way towards temporal affairs that affected them.
Jesus is exaggerating a point in this story to show how wrong our view of God is. In our hurt, suffering and sense of feeling lost, we think God has abandoned us or has chosen not to search us out when in fact it is totally the opposite. If a man would search for keys with a sense of urgency, how much more has the Creator of all things searched us out as sinners, people who have been disconnected from relationship from Him.
Maybe in areas that really matter we have experienced people not seeking us out as “the one”—like the one lost sheep in this parable. We have seen people seek out their missing phone or keys, but the same person has not sought us out as a friend. We have all done this. We have not searched and rescued that which is truly valuable. God is not like us. He always seeks out that which is most valuable to Him, and that is the human soul. He is seeking you and me. His presence is always pursuing us even when we are lost or running away. His love is always on a rescue mission to find people who are isolated, hurt, broken. He has not forgotten you.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey