“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, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. Matthew 18, 12-13
Have you ever read this passage thinking, “What about the other 99? What if something happens to them the moment the shepherd went away to find the missing one? Isn’t that irresponsible?”
In this post, I want to shed new light on that intriguing passage. First, about the shepherd, who is the one responsible for the sheep. The shepherd cares for them, leads them to food and water. Moreover, he protects them from predators and shows them where to go. When a sheep is ill, the shepherd binds its wounds and helps it recover. He is always with them and cares deeply for their safety and wellbeing.
So, if the shepard went away to get the missing sheep, what does it mean? It only proves to the remaining sheep how loyal he is and how much he cares about them. Because of that incident, the 99 sheep know that if they go missing or something happens to them, the shepherd will give them his undivided attention. That is how much he cares about the individual! He is ready to go above and beyond to make sure his sheep are well and have everything they need.
In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18, 14
How much greater is God and how much more does he care for us! As a human shepherd, He is not limited to only be present in one place at a time. You are his most prized possession. He would go above and beyond to lead you back to the flock, to protect you, provide for you, and guide you. Gods’ love for you is never ending!
Not only that, but a shepherd stays with his flock 24/7. They go where he leads them and protects them by night.
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Jesaja 40,11
I’m amazed at how uniquely God cares for each individual. He carries the younger ones and shows considerations for the mother sheep. God knows what every sheep needs. He knows them inside and out to meet them uniquely in their needs. God knows exactly what you need and leads you in the right way to get it. Some people are so afraid to make mistakes or “fall out” of God’s ways. But remember, God will go the extra mile to get you back to the flock. The overall question is: do you trust him?