Scripture is replete with tales of lost sheep. The Old Testament tells of how the nation of Israel are like lost sheep (Psalm 119:176, Jeremiah 50:6), and the New Testament tells of how Jesus came for the lost sheep of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6, 15:24; Luke 15:1-7).
The Old Testament’s description of what lost sheep looks like, one can easily see how all people fit the description of a lost sheep. The end of Psalm 119 is a lament of how the author sees himself forgetting God’s commandments, and wanting God to seek for him. In Jeremiah 50:6 we Jeremiah lamenting over God’s people who were being lead astray by false shepherds, and how the shepherds forgot the flock in their care.
The New Testament’s description is much the same. In Matthew chapter 10:5-6, Jesus commands His disciples to not go to the Gentiles or Samaritans, but to the lost sheep of Israel. Continuing in Matthew, Jesus is proclaiming that He had come for the lost sheep of Israel. Luke records for us Jesus telling a parable of the value of a lost sheep, and the joy in finding that lost sheep.
The concurrent them in all of these passages is the message that we are lost. We are as dumb as sheep, and need a good shepherd to lead us home, and to come after us when we go astray. We need a shepherd to continue to seek the lost and bring them in to the fold.
After the resurrection, Jesus declares:
Matthew 28″18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””
We are all sheep. Jesus is our Shepherd. All heaven celebrates when one confesses Jesus as LORD, and believes God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9).