Thoughts for the Day

Thursday, 9th November 2023: The lost sheep

Sheep Parable Luke 15

Reading : Verses from Luke, Chapter 15

Jesus good shepherd

Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’

So he told them this parable: ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


From childhood onwards most of us connect Jesus with sheep! We have images of Jesus carrying a sheep on his shoulder, and we know that the lost sheep is someone who is lost to God and needs bringing back into the fold as it were. We should remember that most sheep in Israel were looked after collectively on the hills and mountains, so the shepherd had to account for each sheep whether alive or dead when they returned to the village. Sheep were of tremendous importance to people's livelihood.

Perhaps what comes over when re-reading this lovely parable is the fact that each and every single sheep is important to the shepherd. So each and every single person is important to our Lord. Much of Jesus' ministry was concerned to call the outcast, the poor, and the lost and to tell them that the Kingdom of God was for them. He called them to repentance, and to change their lives. Many will have done so, but unfortunately many were to reject his offer of love.

We too are sometimes like the lost sheep. We can choose to go our own way and do our own thing. So we constantly need to re-assess ourselves and be sure we have not gone astray. But if we have, be assured, when we confess our faults, our Lord Jesus Christ welcomes us back again.


Lord Jesus Christ,
we come to You to day to confess our sins,
especially those of which we are unaware.
Forgive us and draw us close to You,
so that we may be safe.
Help us to rethink our life
and resolve to follow you more closely.

Return to index