Do you know someone who is a lost sheep?
Trust the Shepherd to do his job. Nothing can stop Christ from finding and ministering to the lost sheep.
Many years ago I tried to help someone who was not not taking a very spiritual approach to life. He was struggling to just survive at times, but he didn’t really want to hear about how God could help him get his life straightened out.
Nothing I said or did seemed to help much. And I was starting to feel personally responsible for this guy.
The more I prayed, the more I realized it was not my responsibility to “find” this lost sheep. Christ does that and nothing can stop him from doing his job. I was able to plant a few seeds in his heart that took root many years later.
Finding the lost sheep
Christ knows where all the sheep are and how to minister to them, how to feed and protect them, and how to lead them to safety.
Listen to hear how God answered this prayer in a very unexpected way.
Jesus and the lost sheep
Jesus spent much of his ministry seeking out the lost sheep, the outcasts of society, people who the religious authorities thought of as worthless. He loved them, he ministered to them, he healed them. And he set the example of how we should treat others who have gone astray.
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Bible References in this episode:
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
John 12:49 ESV
49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak.
John 5:19 ESV
19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
Mark 6:34 ESV
34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
Matthew 10:5-8 ESV
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans,
6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.
Matthew 15:21-28 ESV
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”
23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Matthew 12:9-14 ESV
9 He went on from there and entered their synagogue.
10 And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him.
11 He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out?
12 Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other.
14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.
Luke 15:1-7 ESV
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable:
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’
7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
John 10:2-6, 14-16, 27-29 ESV
2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
4 To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
5 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
6 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
Luke 24:13-15 ESV
13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,
14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.
15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.
John 21:15-17 ESV
15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.
Matthew 28:19, 20 ESV – The Great Commission
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[fn] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”