Prone to Stray; God to Save <Mt 18:10-14>
Every one of us is prone to stray from God. The pull of the world is ever so strong – things of the world, they prick at us, stir up our desires, our feelings of lack, unworthiness, discontentment, etc. Our own sinful inclinations are very real, so is the cunning work of the devil. All these made us turn our attention away from God to pursue something apart from Him. Even when God’s people have a genuine heart to follow God, the devil can also mislead them into false teachings or half-truths.
But the good news is, the Good Shepherd never gives up on His lost sheep. No matter how lost or weak His sheep is, the Greatest God cares for the least of His sheep. Every one matters to Him.
Through this familiar story, we realize that in our Christian journey, we take turns to be either the one straying sheep or 99 other staying sheep. God reveals His heart to both kinds of sheep. When we are weak, lost and powerless, God wants us to be assured that He will take the initiative to seek us back. Thus, we should find evidences of how God is constantly seeking for us. On the other hand, when we are following the Shepherd closely like the 99 sheep, we need to know that the Father is not willing for any of the little ones to perish. Hence, instead of looking down at the wandering sheep, we need to evangelise to them, build them up and disciple them. Indeed, even the 99 good sheep have the tendency to stray as well. However, if we are meaningfully occupied with God’s purpose, our hearts can be better guarded when we are mission-centered. God desires that we imitate Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Therefore, we need to reflect on how we can practically help the ‘straying sheep’ of God.