Read: Luke 15:1-10
Bible in a Year: Esther 1-2; Acts 5:1-21
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. —Psalm 100:3
Laura loaded a borrowed goat and sheep into a trailer to transport them to church for a rehearsal of a live nativity. The animals head-butted and chased each other for a bit and then settled down. Laura started for the church but first had to stop for gas.
While pumping the gas, she noticed the goat standing in the parking lot! And the sheep was gone! In the commotion of getting them settled she had forgotten to lock one of the latches. Laura called the sheriff and some friends who searched frantically along a stretch of businesses, cornfields, and woods during the last daylight hours. Many were praying that she would find the borrowed animal.
The next morning Laura and a friend went out to post “Lost Sheep” flyers at local businesses. Their first stop was the gas station. A customer overheard them asking the cashier about posting a flyer and said, “I think I know where your sheep is!” The sheep had wandered to his neighbor’s farm, where he had put it in the barn for the night.
The Lord cares about lost sheep—including you and me. Jesus came from heaven to earth to show us His love and provide salvation (John 3:16). He goes to great lengths to seek and find us (Luke 19:10).
When the sheep was found, Laura nicknamed her Miracle. And God’s salvation of us is a miracle of His grace. —Anne Cetas
Heavenly Father, as we care for the things dear to us, how much more do You care for us, Your children! Thank You for answered prayer and for the miracle of Your grace.
The Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep. John 10:11
INSIGHT: Jesus’ association with the outcasts of society (vv. 1-2) offended the self-righteous Pharisees and religious leaders who saw themselves as the only people fit to go to heaven. Their statement that “this man receives sinners and eats with them” (v. 2) was meant to be a scathing attack on His character, but it accurately affirmed what Jesus came to do (Matt. 9:10-13). In response to this criticism, Jesus told three parables: the lost sheep (vv. 4-7), the lost coin (vv. 8-10), and the lost son (vv. 11-32). All three parables follow the same pattern: something is lost, it is found, and then there is rejoicing.