“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”

Matthew 18:10-14


This is a parable Jesus told his disciples about a sheep that had been lost. Through the story he speaks to all of us who might at times be wounded, vulnerable, exhausted. Unable to keep up, we become separated from the safety of the herd. Separated from Jesus our Shepherd. We’ve all been there at times and we probably ended up feeling quite alone and lonely.

Although he has another ninety-nine sheep with him, the Good Shepherd noticed that one sheep had gone missing. In concern, he left all the others while he went searching for the one. Though he had many, he wouldn’t let one perish. Each one matters to him.

Through the sheep’s story, Jesus shows how God cares for us—like children, weak, humble and dependent on him. He tells the disciples that these “little ones” must not be despised—despised meaning “to look down on, consider inferior or not really worth caring for.”

Care equally for each one, Jesus says, for the weak ones as much as the strong.

Does this story sound like it might be about you? It might be.

It’s about anyone who is in need of Jesus’ care. And aren’t we always?  The story is about you and how you Shepherd cares for you. It tells a truth you need to hear.

Because we all become like that lost sheep at times: vulnerable in life, distant from God, not sure what to believe. At times like that, we will need the Good Shepherd to rescue us.

We will need him, and long for him to bring us home. And he will. He will leave everything to search for you and bring you home.

It’s because we matter to him…Just like that lost sheep, we matter to him.