Would You Go After One Lost Sheep? (Matthew 16-18)


We all have a tendency to be delusional about some things. Some of us like to think that calories through the holidays or birthdays don’t count, or that we’ll make up our missed bible reading, step count, etc…. later. My brother did a good thing for me the other day. I’m accountable to him for how many steps I walk each day. He texted me to let me know that I was down in my step count. I shared some sort of excuse (delusion) on why I was the exception to the rule that day and he lovingly but firmly said that I needed to figure out how I could avoid the scenario leading to less steps that day. It was the kind of confrontation that I needed. The next day I was right back on track.

I forgot how close together the passagas about a lost sheep (Matthew 18:12-14) and church discipline (Mattew 18:15-20) are to each other. I know certainly it seems like the page is being turned to a different subject. I think though that these passages are side by side for a reason. If we really love our brothers and sisters in Christ, when they sin against us we will lovingly confront them with the goal of reconciliation. (And when we sin against them, we should expect them to come to us as well).

That is how you pursue lost sheep. If you really leave the ninety-nine to go after the one, you aren’t just leaving the pen door open hoping the lost sheep will wander home one day. You are be out in the elements to find the sheep and bring them back. You confront them, you plead with them. You seek reconciliation.

Father, thank you that when I was lost that you sought me. Thank you for lovingly confronting me about my sin, so that I might be reconciled to you. Help me to love like you today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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