What is YOUR experience with His outstretched hand?
Reaching for the Little Ones…
“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 18:12-14 NIV
Alford Usher Soord (1868-1915) was a British painter whose most famous work is a depiction of The Parable Of The Lost Sheep, a sheep stranded halfway down a steep cliff and the shepherd hanging perilously over the edge, risking his own life to save it. The painting was exhibited in 1898 in the Royal Academy and by 1916, over 300,000 reproductions of it had been sold in England and America.
Soord has captured the great lengths the Savior will go to reach “the little ones”. He doesn’t want anyone to perish! In the painting, it looks as if He is in danger, His feet could slip and both of them would perish. Who would go out on a limb, literally, to save another?
Calvary, the work of the Cross, doesn’t show Jesus just risking His life; it shows us that Jesus GAVE His life. He did it for each one of us, reaching across the chasm of time and eternity to even save those that no one else would dare try to redeem.
The most fascinating scene from this story is that he left the 99 on the hill just to go look for the one that was lost. Some would say that He was careless, or that He was showing preference.
They also did not need coddling; pampering, babying or spoiling…they were safe with the Shepherd.
But the little one was lost; in desperate need of rescue before he plunged to his eternal death.
So Jesus went searching until He found him and brought him back into the fold.
How do we feel when there we see another hanging on for dear life? Do we grumble and complain that we aren’t getting fed, we need
more Bible studies,
more things for the children,
and on and on and on…
Friends…we truly have this in the Church. I met a congregation who literally said they liked their small family church and wanted to keep it that way.
“If Jesus wants them to be saved He will send them here, we don’t have to go out looking for them.”
But Jesus did.
He risked His life for ONE. He gave His life for ONE.
YOU were that ONE that He reached down to save.
I was that ONE.
Now, will we do the same?