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Strays

Briefing: How much does Jesus love us? More than we will ever know! Have you ever lost something and gone into a panic because you could not find it? The difference between us losing something and this story is Jesus never loses us, we have a tendency to wander off.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 18:10-14.

On the Street: Jesus is our shepherd. He is talking about the sheep of His flock – us. I used to get really worried about the thought that Jesus would leave me to go look for a backsliding Christian, until I became that backsliding lost sheep. Take comfort in this, in John 10:25-30, we learn that no one can snatch us. It does not say that we are prevented from wandering off, running away or backsliding.

This passage comes after Jesus pronounces, “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!” Ouch, we have a huge responsibility to each other, to be a positive, uplifting presence. I can imagine a shepherd getting upset if I try to scare or scatter his flock.

Jesus does not want me to stray. If I stray, I am in danger of perishing. When a shepherd has a sheep that strays too much, he will break one of its legs. He will then keep the sheep with him night and day, nursing it back to health. They develop a very strong bond during this time of healing. This act of breaking the leg has a two-fold meaning. The shepherd and the sheep bond and the sheep learns that straying is not to be tolerated.

Proverbs 3:12 says, “…the Lord disciplines those He loves…” If there was no discipline, we would continue to wander off and perish. Proverbs 5:23 says, “He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly”.

Highlights from this Read: Verse ten says we have angels who always see the face of God. They are always in His presence.

Investigational Resources: Luke 15:4-7 is the other gospel account of the lost sheep. Jesus’ sheep know His voice and they follow Him (John 10:25-30). Luke 15:11-32 is the parable of the prodigal son. For more on discipline, see Proverbs 5:10 and Psalm 94:12.

Officer Safety Principle: Not only is it important for us not to stray but it is important to make sure that we are not the cause of others going astray.

from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
Click here to check out the entire Through the Eyes of a Cop series!

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