Speaking Of Life 1042 | God Searches for You
Let me read you a story that might sound familiar…at first.
The kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep; one of them, the biggest, went astray; he left (the) ninety-nine (and) sought after the one until he found it. After he had labored, he said to the sheep: I love you more than the ninety-nine.
Does that sound familiar? Or does that sound just a bit off to you? This story is actually from another writing, not the Bible, that was around the time of Jesus. The story made sense to people. Who wouldn’t go after the biggest and best sheep. But Jesus changed the story a bit.
Let’s look at the actual words of Jesus in Luke 15.
“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? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 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.’ 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. Luke 15:4-7 ESV
Do you see the difference here? The first story talks about the “biggest” sheep who the shepherd loves more than all the others. While the parable Jesus tells is about the hundredth sheep, no different than the other 99. There is nothing about it being the biggest or the one he loves the most, the sheep is just lost. And that was enough reason to go searching.
This story is followed by the story of the lost coin in which a woman goes through all her house to find the equivalent of a day’s wages. Then she has a huge party when she finds it.
One coin. One sheep. And a huge party when these things are found. These stories aren’t about the value of what was lost, they are about the finder’s joy. These things; the sheep, the coin and eventually the prodigal son; are given value only by those that find them.
Never doubt your worth for a moment. Your worth is not your business. Your worth is God’s business, God’s choice, God’s valuation, and that will never change. You don’t have to be the best sheep, or the most valuable coin, or even the favorite son for Jesus to search for you. You are the infinitely valuable child of God, and he will never stop looking for you, and he will never stop expressing great joy when you turn to him.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life.