They hold their heads high when they walk through society. They are seen. They are known. They are outraged, because they think that spending time with these people is the same thing as joining in their depravity, that spending time with them is endorsing their lifestyle, endorsing their sin. So, two groups of people in the context for this one, people who are convinced of their own badness and people who are convinced of their own goodness.
The Pharisees and the scribes were very, very careful to stay away from the people that they deemed sinners. They, especially refused to eat with them, because eating was really spending time, it was accepting hospitality. It meant that they were having real fellowship. This meant you were really joining in with them.
The religious folk, the scribes, the Pharisees, they thought that people like that, spending time with people like that would contaminate you. Your own moral purity would be affected by spending time with those immoral, impure people.
In order to protect my own reputation I need to stay away from people like that. Just by your proximity to those scribes and Pharisees, that would be good for you to be seen around them. Whoever it is that society deems as being bad. If we spend time with them does that tarnish my reputation? We were talking about this earlier just back in the room there. Who are the sinners and who are the tax collectors today?
Little Sheep Gets Lost : Tim Dowley :
We have to give a portion of our money every year to that person. Who are those people today? I really think it varies a whole lot from context to context, church to church, town to town, country to country. But, somewhere around us there are people that we fear if I am seen around them their reputation will tarnish me. He was not spending time with the people whose goodness would transfer over to Him. Others thought the badness would transfer over to Him. Something to think about. Are you willing to spend time with people society, or just Christian culture, considers the sinners and tax collectors?
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The religious people around Jesus only wanted to spend time with people who had already cleaned themselves up. Jesus was spending time with people who were filthy, people who knew they were filthy. Jesus spending time with sinners and tax collectors, the good religious folk grumbling and complaining about it.
So, for that reason, in that context, He told this parable, primarily for those religious people. He primarily told it for their sake. Three things I want to draw out. This is something those people were familiar with. They would have seen it every day. Might be like us talking about a man was standing at a bus stop, or something, right. Immediately in our minds we all have a context.
Today, in this story something happens with this shepherd. Suddenly his heart skips a beat. Well, the shepherd has a sheep. He decides he better do a head count, 96, 97, 98, He counts again, still He counts a third time, still 99, so now he knows one of his sheep has gone missing. Now, be clear, this is a good shepherd, not just any shepherd, not just a hired hand, not some temporary help.
This is the good shepherd. He knows, and he loves his sheep. The sheep know his voice. He knows his sheep by name. So, by now he knows not only that one of his sheep is missing, he knows which one is missing. He was there on the night that her little lamb was born. He cared for it. Since it was born he carried it when it was tired. He tended to it when it was sick. You know his mind immediately races. He begins to imagine all that could have befallen this precious little sheep of his, because he knows what it means for a sheep to go missing.
These are creatures who absolutely need a shepherd. These are creatures who are absolutely dependent upon their shepherd for at least a few different reasons.
Sheep are dumb. Four hundred sheep fell 15 meters to their death in a ravine, but broke the fall of another animals who survived. Shepherds from a nearby village neglected the flock while eating breakfast, leaving the sheep to roam free. Here are these shepherds. They just go to have breakfast. They turn around and the entire flock has walked off a cliff. Sheep need a shepherd. You think about how often we in the Bible are referred to as sheep.
Jesus is communicating something we ought to pick up on. So, sheep are dumb. Sheep just wander.
Otherwise, they just wander off endlessly. Then, sheep are defenseless. Left to itself a sheep is not gonna last very long. You can apparently take just about any animal, domesticated animal, and let it free in the wild and most of them have some chance of survival. From what I understand a sheep is not that way. It makes sense. When we talk about a shepherd who has lost his sheep, this sheep is wolf bait, right? I think this is why Christians care so much for those who have never known the Lord.
We know the dangers they face.
Just like the shepherd knows the danger faced by this sheep as it wanders alone in the wilderness. No wonder, then, that we have such a deep care for the wanderers. What would be the best thing to do in this context? What would be appropriate? Just leave him. You can find him that time. If I leave him out he will be devoured in no time. I know him by name. Come on.
Little Sheep Gets Lost (Bible Animal Board Book Series)
Your sheep will come wandering back eventually. He knows the way home. This sheep would never return to the fold unless I go and I draw him back. He deserves his fate. Forget about him. Move on.
- Parable of the Lost Sheep.
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- Feeling Good.
My heart goes out to this one. He thinks very carefully back over the day. He remembers.
Related Little Sheep Gets Lost: The Story of the Lost Sheep (Bible Animals)
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