March 6, 2024

Matthew 18:10-14 (HCSB)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones, because I tell you that in heaven their angels continually view the face of My Father in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save the lost. 12 What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray? 13 And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep more than over the 99 that did not go astray.14 In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

Dana Dorris
We are all familiar with the story of the “Lost Sheep” in the Bible. We also sing about how “He leaves the ninety-nine.” But let’s think for a minute about the shepherd. He’s the one watching over the flock, but he also carries a big stick (a shepherds crook). That stick isn’t just any old stick; it is molded and shaped for a purpose. One end is long and straight and is used to keep the sheep moving along the right path, especially when they get lazy and want to stop and graze too much. It can also be used for fighting off other predators who try to attack them. The other end is curved. Its purpose is to grab that stubborn sheep by the neck and pull it back into the herd. Depending upon what the sheep may need will depend on what end of the stick he uses. The same is true for how Jesus leads us in the right way, but we stray, don’t we? We get distracted, we get lazy, and we need reigning in from time to time. Jesus also said we aren’t to despise or talk against the “little ones,” meaning some believers are new or young in their faith, while others are more mature in theirs. However, that doesn’t change the need for the stick. Think about that….

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