Searching for Lost Sheep
Jesus’ encounter with the blind man in John 9 is part of the great panorama of God’s redemptive purpose from all of eternity. This apparently inconsequential stop in the middle of the day was part of the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham that “in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). It’s part of the great, ongoing, unfolding purpose of God to put together a company of people that no one can count from every tribe, nation, language, and tongue (Revelation 7:9).
The healing of this man, as well as what follows from it, is remarkable. It raises questions: How did Jesus find this man? And how did Jesus change this man? In the answers, we gain a better understanding of how Jesus finds men and women in their lostness and then changes them into sheep that have been found.
This story is not only an illustration of saving faith but also, as C.H. Spurgeon says, “an example of what you may do in endeavoring to lead [souls] to exercise faith in Jesus.” If you want to follow Christ’s example in reaching people, the first thing you must do, says Spurgeon, is “seek out the oppressed … seek out the sick, the sad, the weary, the poor, the broken-down ones, and especially such as have been put out of the synagogues.”
The people that no one wants and no one will have, Jesus wants and Jesus will have. Jesus has every right to anticipate that His followers will do the same. It’s only in knowing that you were once lost that you understand what it means to be found. Jesus has sought you and found you—and if He did that for you, He can do it for anyone! Our tendency is to spend time with those who are like us. But the Son of God did not do that—otherwise He would never have been born as a man, to seek and to save sinners like us. Who are the “broken-down ones” the Lord is calling you to reach out to with the gospel of the Son of Man? With God’s help, go out and tell them that Jesus is alive and that He seeks and saves those who are lost.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3So he told them this parable: 4“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? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6And 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.’ 7Just 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.
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