Feeling bad for the ninety and nine is familiar to me, too. But then I had an outstanding New Testament teacher at BYU (this guy was prof of the year when I had him; amazing guy, but that’s really not relevant…or is it?). Anyway, he pointed out the irony in this parable is that, in one sense, there really AREN’T any “ninety and nine” out there who don’t need the Shepherd to rescue them. Some of us feel like the good guys trying to do what’s right while the bad sheep wander, but really each of us can (and should!) consider ourselves to be that lost sheep — lost and then found and carried home on His shoulders.
Wake-up call for (or slam against) the Pharisees? Perhaps. And for us, too!
BTW, Russ, thanks for this post. A timely, tender reminder for me in my RS responsibilities.]]>
There is something eerily familiar about your post….
I enjoyed it both times! :)]]>
It’s important for the Bishop to acknowledge the presence of the Spirit in the room and help the prodigal/lost sheep learn to not only recognize it him/herself, but seek to have that influence always.]]>
From a “Born Again’s” perspective this could look like God’s sovereign election taking place. He decides who he will look for and save.
Ok, sorry, I’ll quit thinking about this!]]>
When reflecting on this parable I have always felt bad for the ninety and nine. That’s the group I always felt I was in and they get the Rodney Dangerfield treatment.
Your post made me re-think this a bit. Maybe the ninety and nine is more of a back-handed slam against the Pharisees. They thought they were part of the flock and the Saviour rejoices in finding the one who has wondered off from them. (Lots of holes can be blown in this thought…but I had it anyway).]]>
I find your analogy of fire-arms completely inappropriate. Hunting is evil and we are only supposed to eat meat in times of famine or during the winter. It’s almost April so find a new analogy.]]>
For me, the few times I have really tried to do this kind of stuff, specifically choosing a ‘sheep’ to help is important. The rifle istead of the shot gun.]]>