By Afshin Ziafat – May 15, 2013 – Christianity Today
The parable of the lost sheep is the first of three consecutive parables Jesus shares with his disciples to show us the heart of God and the mission of Christ. God’s mission in Christ is to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). This story challenges us to look at our own hearts, to see God’s heart, and to move with compassion to reach the lost with the hope of Christ.
This parable comes on the heels of the Pharisees and scribes grumbling over the fact that Jesus receives sinners. It ends with Jesus speaking of the 99 righteous persons who need no repentance. Scripture is clear that there are none who are righteous apart from Christ (Romans 3:10), therefore this last statement is intended to refer to people who think they are righteous and do not need to repent. The Gospel teaches that we are not righteous in our own works and we are indebted to the grace and mercy of Christ for our righteousness (Luke 18:9-14). We are all sinners and were lost before Christ saved us!