Matthew Chapter 18- Part 3
The Parable of the Lost Sheep- Read (Matthew 18:11-14)(Luke 15:1-7)
Once the tax collectors and the sinners came to Jesus to hear him. When the Pharisees and scribes saw this, they complained, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." Jesus then spoke a parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the mountains (Luke writes wilderness), and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices and when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost! I say to you, likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Matthew writes of Jesus saying, "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. " and also, "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
Combining the writings of Matthew and Luke we can decipher that Jesus came, not only to save sinners who were lost (without God), but also to bring back to the fold, them who had gone astray after being in the flock. This parable shows the Shepherd character of God who cares for his sheep and in John Chapter 10, we read Jesus' emphatic statement, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep"(John 10:11). Jesus accomplished this, when he laid down his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of all humanity.