8/1/2014 2:04:00 PM Jesus tells the parable of the lost sheep
In a parable he once told his apostles, Jesus talked about losing and finding things. He told the story in response to a question the apostles had asked him.
"Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" they wanted to know.
Maybe each apostle thought that he would be called the greatest. The answer they received probably surprised them.
Jesus called a child over and showed the youth to his friends. "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven," he said. "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me."
He then gave the apostles a stern warning: Anyone who causes a child who believes in him to sin would be in big trouble, so much trouble that the person would be better off dead.
"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father," he said . Then Jesus talked about losing and finding things.
"What is your opinion?" he asked the apostles about a story he was about to tell.
The Lord set the scene for his friends: A shepherd cares for his flock of 100 sheep. The shepherd was tending them in the hills one day, and as he counted them, he realized something awful -- one had disappeared! What, the Lord wanted to know, would this shepherd do next?
"Will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?" Jesus asked his friends. "And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost."