Don Francisco used to play secular folk-rock music, but after a supernatural experience Francisco rededicated his life to God and changed his personal and musical direction. The following are a few sentences from one of his songs: I loved you long before the time your eyes first saw the day …And although you’ve chosen darkness with its miseries and fears …I’d take you back this instant if you’d turn to Me and cry. …I already gave My life to set you free; There’s no sin you could imagine that is stronger than my love, …When you come back to your senses and you see who’s been to blame, …I’ll be running out to meet you if you’ll only turn around …
It was the habit of the tax collectors and sinners to go and listen to Jesus. The Pharisees and scribes didn’t like that and said: “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:1-7)
The tax collectors had a reputation for being unfair with tax collection and they were sinners, according to the Pharisees, not only because they were immoral people, but also because they did not strictly keep the ceremonial laws. The Pharisees despised them, considered them wicked and unclean. people not to be associated with. Jesus did not only tolerate them, but He went out of his way to welcome these people who might have expected rejection from him also. More than that, Jesus ate with them, implying friendship and recognition. In their haste to judge, the Pharisees failed to understand the significance of Jesus’ concern for this group of people.
In Jesus’ parable, the farmer goes after the lost sheep until he finds it. There is no blame directed at the straying sheep. Jesus takes this story from real life, but then adds a spiritual application. The point Jesus is making is that sinners are the lost sheep, but that God loves them, each one of them, and He is looking for every one of them. God rejoices, angels rejoice, when a sinner repents! There is a celebration for every victory, for every person who is rescued. Jesus’ redemption is no mass salvation, but one-by-one, person-by-person, name-by-name.
Jesus’ love is greater than any sin which we have committed. Each one of us is important to God, so important that He hasalready given his life to set us free, so important that the angels rejoice every time one of us repents.
Our heavenly Father, thank you that your love for each one of us is greater than our sins; that You come to meet us if we turn around and desire a life with You. Amen.