- Frederick Buechner
Jesus became increasingly popular among notorious sinners—tax collectors and other social outcasts. The Pharisees and religious scholars noticed this.
Pharisees and Religious Scholars: This man welcomes immoral people and enjoys their company over a meal!
Jesus (with another parable): Wouldn’t every single one of you, if you have 100 sheep and lose one, leave the 99 in their grazing lands and go out searching for the lost sheep until you find it? When you find the lost sheep, wouldn’t you hoist it up on your shoulders, feeling wonderful? And when you go home, wouldn’t you call together your friends and neighbors? Wouldn’t you say, “Come over and celebrate with me, because I’ve found my lost sheep”? This is how it is in heaven. They’re happier over one sinner who changes his way of life than they are over 99 good and just people who don’t need to change their ways of life. Or imagine a woman who has 10 silver coins. She loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the whole house, and search diligently until that coin is found? And when she finds it, doesn’t she invite her friends and neighbors and say, “Celebrate with me! I’ve found that silver coin that I lost”? Can’t you understand? There is joy in the presence of all God’s messengers over even one sinner who changes his way of life.