Shepherds – a common and lowly occupation in Jesus’ day. An average flock was about a hundred sheep, with a count taken nightly.
A good shepherd is determined not to lose a single one of his sheep for each one is equally as precious in his eyes. A shepherd will work diligently to recover a lost sheep, searching high and low, losing sleep.
Early in the morning, I read the story told by Jesus of a shepherd and his flock …
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it on his shoulder. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.” (Luke 15: 3-6, NLT)
The Lulu Tree, a not-for-profit ministry, seeks to help vulnerable women and their children to find hope in Katwe, Uganda. We partner with them, hoping to equip them to make a life for themselves and their children.
The news came later that afternoon. Lillian is one of our new Lulu daughters, having recently entered the program. We recently found out she had a sister in a nearby village. And so we sent her out, by bus, and she returned with Esther, just 16 years old, who will also be joining us. The two sisters are filled with joy to be reunited and to have hope for the future.
In telling the story, Jesus longs for us to know His heart. Jesus takes the initiative to seek out the lost, the broken, the hopeless, those separated from their families, and He reunites and restores.
We must not let our hearts harden and lose compassion for the very ones Jesus loves. The broken and the marginalized should not be left abandoned to find their own way.
These girls were filled with joy to be reunited as sisters and to be given a safe place to live with new mattresses to sleep upon, side by side. And there is great joy for us at The Lulu Tree when one is rescued from their distress and brought into safety.
Even today, Jesus asks, “What will he do?”
He will get on a bus in Katwe.
The shepherd will go after the one.
This is Day 11 of 31 Questions Jesus Asked. You can find the entire series here.