99 sheep

“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.’ Luke 14:5

Which is greater, 1 sheep or 99 sheep?

What strikes me about this passage is the shepherd’s ability to notice that one sheep is missing. I’m not so sure I would be able to tell the difference between a herd of 100 and a herd of 99. They would look pretty much the same to me. If I were a shepherd in charge of 100 sheep and one got lost, I probably wouldn’t realize it for a long time. Furthermore, I probably would be more eager to cut my losses than to try to find it. After all, a sheep lost for who knows how long, could very well have been long since digested by a wolf. I could leave my herd exposing them all to vulnerability to search, but it doesn’t seem like a great payoff.

For God, though. He knows every single one he has made and he keeps watch over us. Not in the creepy santa claus way, or the judgmental court reporter way. He protects and oversees.

We all are so valuable to him he will not risk losing even one of us. The less fortuate, the more fortuate, the lazy, the downtrodden, the super rich, all the different types of us.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. Ps 139:1-4

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 cor 13:12

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