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In the Bible, Jesus tells two similar, but not identical, parables about a lost and wandering sheep.
The first parable, found in Luke 15:1-7, relates primarily to unbelievers. Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10) who seeks after lost sinners, that they may repent of their sins and come into a loving, personal relationship with God through faith in Christ’s atoning sacrifice for their sins.
Please see Message for how to be forgiven and reconciled to God.
“Now the tax collectors and ‘sinners’ were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
Then Jesus told them this parable:
‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not 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.” I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’” (Luke 15:1-7)
Jesus also tells a second parable about a lost and wandering sheep, but in context, this parable primarily relates to believers who have strayed away from a close relationship with Jesus.
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
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, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.” (Matthew 18:10-14)
Whether you are a believer or an unbeliever, one thing is certain: God wants you to have a close, personal, everlasting relationship with him! Please see Message for how to enter into this close, personal relationship with God.
(See also, “The Prodigal Son” (Events of The Bible Series).)