Luke 15:1-10 NRSVue

1Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3So he told them this parable: 4“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? 5And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep.’ 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

8“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

This scene is full of activity, people of different backgrounds are surrounding Jesus. I observe the tax-collectors and sinners, how eager they are to hear Jesus' words. I also observe the religious groups, their faces showing contempt for the “others” and judging Jesus' behaviour.

Jesus then shares this parable. A shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep behind so he can find one. What do I think of the shepherd? What do I think Jesus is trying to communicate here? Imagine yourself as somebody who has always been excluded. How does hearing this parable impact you?

In following Jesus, I can find myself lost many times. The pressures of life, preoccupations etc can cause me to get distracted and take the wrong path. What are the things that can make me feel lost? Can I hear the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd calling me back?