Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. Luke 15:6
Living near cattle ranches as he did, humorist Michael Yaconelli noticed how cows were prone to wander while grazing. A cow would keep moving, always looking for the fabled “greener pastures.” Near the edge of the property, the cow might discover some cool fresh grass under a shade tree. Just beyond a broken-down part of the fence was a tasty clump of foliage. Then the cow might push far beyond the fence and out to the road. It slowly “nibbled” its way into being lost.
Cows aren’t alone in their roaming problem. Sheep also wander, and it’s likely that people have the biggest tendency of all to stray.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons God compares us to sheep in the Bible. It can be easy to meander and “nibble our way” through reckless compromises and foolish decisions, never noticing how far away from the truth we’ve strayed.
Jesus told the Pharisees the story of a lost sheep. The sheep was of such value to the shepherd that he left his other sheep behind while he searched for the wandering one. And when he found the one that had strayed, He celebrated! (Luke 15:1–7).
Such is the happiness of God over those who turn back to Him. Jesus said, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep” (v. 6). God has sent us a Savior to rescue us and bring us home.
In what way might you be wandering in the wrong direction? What’s the first step you need to take to get back where you belong?
Father in heaven, I feel lost. Have I wandered too far? Redirect my heart and show me the way home.
Throughout Scripture, people are frequently referred to as sheep (Psalms 79:13; 95:7; 100:3; Isaiah 53:6; Jeremiah 50:6; Ezekiel 34:17–22; Micah 2:12; Matthew 9:36; 10:16; John 21:15–17). One characteristic of sheep is that they tend to wander and are incapable of taking care of themselves (as we see in Luke 15:1–7). They need a shepherd to guide them to pasture and protect them from predators and thieves. Yet throughout the Bible we also see that sheep were highly valued. They provided food and clothing for the people and sacrifices for the temple. Sheep know their shepherd and respond to the shepherd’s voice. John 10:3–4 describes how the Good Shepherd—Jesus—calls His sheep individually by name and leads them.