Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 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. Doesn’t he 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)
Recently, as I was praying over this parable, and sensed Jesus asking me, “Are you willing to leave the ninety-nine and search for lost sheep?
It’s a tough question. Of course I want to say yes, Jesus, I will follow you!
But what would it look like for me to follow him out into my neighborhood?
Jesus give me grace to follow you out into the community. Grace to be incarnational and to go to them, rather than expect them to come join me with the ninety-nine (I’m comfortable with). Grace to love people the way you do. Grace to make those who don’t know you, a priority in my life.