”What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost” (Matthew 18:12-14)
Evidently sheep have a tendency to wander off and get lost. There is a continual reference to this kind of behavior throughout the Scriptures. I don’t know much about sheep, but I know a little about people. The grass looks greener over there. There are things that catch our attention over there, and before long, we are over there, away from where we should be. Business calls us. Temptation calls us. Before long, we have neglected Bible reading and good works. We have neglected being where we should be.
The Bible is clear. The good shepherd leaves the sheep that are in the fold and goes out and looks for the lost ones. He knows who is missing. He is willing to go out and look for them and finds a genuine pleasure and happiness when they are found and restored to the flock.
We need to restore a genuine sense of enthusiasm for finding and restoring those who are lost. It is great fun for the remaining sheep to be together, but me must go and look for those who are away.
I don’t know if sheep are like people in that they enjoy being away from the flock. The grass may be greener over there, for awhile at least. Until the wolves come along. Until it gets dark and lonely. Until the dangers outweigh the fun. But sheep belong in the flock. Let us renew the joy of seeking and finding lost sheep.