The Parable of the Lost Sheep
In the Bible, Jesus is known for often using parables and common objects to explain deep spiritual truths. With Luke 15:3-7 Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep:
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
The parable of the lost sheep is an answer to a comment made by the Pharisees. In Luke 15, the Jews complain of how Jesus eats and spends time with sinners, thinking that the sinners do not deserve time with the Messiah. Jesus proceeds to explain how if a man had a hundred sheep, and one wandered away, he would go looking for him. The man would rejoice when he found the lost sheep, because he is happier about the one that returned than the ninety-nine that stayed. In John 10:7 Jesus says:
“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.”
Jesus is not only the shepherd, He is also the gate. When the sheep go through the gate, they enter a place of safety. That place of safety is God. Jesus says many times that the only way to the Father is through Him. When we, the sheep, believe in Jesus, we enter the gate, and into a relationship with the Father, where he protects us like a fence. The devil, the wolf, is unable to attack us when we are in a strong relationship with God. But as soon as we leave the fence, and out into the open field, we are susceptible to attacks from the devil. Because we strayed, Jesus, also the shepherd, went out into the open field by coming down to earth and sacrificing Himself, so that we can come back to the Father through Him. Even if there were even a few people on the earth, Jesus still would’ve died on the cross.