The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a well-known parable told by Jesus, found in the Gospels of Matthew 18:12-14 and Luke 15:3-7. Here is an explanation of the parable:
Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who has 100 sheep. One of the sheep wanders off and becomes lost. The shepherd, concerned for the lost sheep, leaves the other 99 sheep behind and goes in search of the one that went astray. The shepherd tirelessly searches until he finds the lost sheep. When he finds it, he rejoices greatly and brings it back to the flock. Jesus concludes the parable by saying that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the 99 righteous persons who don’t need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a powerful illustration of God’s love and care for every individual. It teaches that God is like the compassionate shepherd who actively seeks out those who are lost and straying from Him. Each person is precious to God, and He goes to great lengths to bring them back into His loving care.
The parable also conveys the idea of the value of every individual soul. Just as the shepherd leaves the 99 sheep to find the one lost sheep, God’s love is inclusive and seeks out those who are lost or estranged. It emphasizes that no one is beyond God’s reach or unworthy of His love and redemption.
Moreover, the parable highlights the joy and celebration in heaven when a lost person repents and returns to God. It portrays God’s immense delight when someone who was separated from Him comes back into a restored relationship. It emphasizes the importance of repentance and turning back to God in order to experience the fullness of His grace and love.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep serves as a reminder of God’s relentless pursuit of the lost, His unwavering love, and the joy that comes from reconciliation with Him. It encourages believers to have compassion for those who are lost, to actively seek out and share the good news of God’s love and forgiveness, and to rejoice when lost souls are found and restored in their relationship with God.