Seek TO Find
Pastor Joshin John, Houston
God is always intentional and purposeful; not only in giving, but also in finding that which was given by Him. He not only gives life, but also finds the lost life; He not only gives coins to keep, but also provides the light to find the lost coin; He not only gives His sheep green pastures, but also finds the sheep lost in the wilderness; He not only gives the fruit of the womb, but also brings the lost son/daughter to their senses! What a kind and compassionate God we serve! Jesus displays the heart of God as well as the heart expected of His disciples in the three parables of Luke 15. Jesus the Good Shepherd goes after the “only one” that was lost until he finds it. There are 3 aspects of being lost as seen in this parable.
Firstly, the sheep is lost from the connection and communication it once had with the shepherd. The shepherd knows the sheep; and the sheep knows its shepherd’s voice due to constant communication they have between them. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). The implication of this search becomes significant only when the “lost one” is me! God desires that none should perish in the pits of sin and guilt; as long as they cry out to the Shepherd who is able to save (John 3:15-16). Irrespective of the ambience where the sheep is “lost”, the Shepherd is still ABLE TO SAVE to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25).
Secondly, “lost” refers to not only being stuck in a pit or having lost its way to the fold, but also where the sheep have lost company of the fellow-sheep. So, it is not only about falling out with the shepherd, but also about losing fellowship for isolation and solitude. Interestingly, it is the shepherd who puts himself on the line of danger to go out in the dark, to search for the “missing” one which is also in danger of getting eaten by wild animals on the prowl. The shepherd considers the missing one to be of greater value than his very own life; hence his going in search of the “one”! Jesus was willing to lay down His life since He considered “me” to be greater value and worth. “And I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:15b). In the company of fellow-sheep and its shepherd, each sheep finds security and comfort. Church is the place for finding identity and acceptance in Christ, as well as getting corrected and taught so we don’t get “lost” again.
Thirdly, the sheep is in danger of being lost forever, provided it is not found by the shepherd. Contrary to popular belief, sheep are not the dumbest of animals. In a research conducted at the University of Cambridge, it was found that sheep have the brainpower equal to that of monkeys. If the sheep had the ability to break free or wiggle out of the place it is stuck, it would have very well done so. But the place the sheep finds itself now is beyond its strength to come through. Unless the shepherd arrives on time to help, the sheep will be lost forever in the mouth of the wild animals roaming about in the dark. Jesus, our role model, came in search for us in due time. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom 5:6). It is His heart that we should possess – a heart concerned to act for those who are stuck, lost, and miserable in sin and bondages of the devil, to bring them into the fellowship of saints which is the place where they truly belong!
Each of us has a mandate to fulfill which is expressly lineated with those that are perishing. Our purpose of life becomes pronounced only when we are directed by the Spirit to have the heart of the shepherd who values the life of ALL. Let us search for the lost till we find them; for we are now found in Christ only because our Lord Jesus searched intently for us.