A Sheep, Not a Lamb
Luke 15:3-7. Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Did you realize that it was a sheep, not a lamb that had gone astray? It was a full grown sheep that had left the company of the ninety-nine and was lost. It was a sheep that the good shepherd sought and brought back to the safety of the fold. Why did Jesus choose to have a full grown sheep instead of a lamb to be the one who was lost?
Why was he so concerned about that sheep? The danger is that if the sheep go astray, they will lead the lambs astray too. The lambs will follow the sheep wherever they go. If the sheep goes wrong, it won’t be long before the lambs are as wrong as the sheep. The lesson of the parable is not just that God is concerned with the individual, but also the power of influence of the individual. There are many full grown sheep who have strayed away from the leading of the Shepherd and His word. Their lambs are following them into the same error and eventual destruction. We need to pray for and try to restore the sheep not only for their sake, but also for the sake of their lambs. If the lambs are last, some sheep will have to pay a terrible price at judgment.