What does a good shepherd do when a sheep wanders off? The greater the distance between the one missing sheep and the watchful eye and protective care of the shepherd, the more the danger. Understanding this, the good shepherd springs into action, taking risks to find the one lost sheep. In the parabolic picture that Jesus paints in Matthew 18:12-13, the shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and launches an urgent rescue mission to find the one at great risk. The use of the definite article by Jesus, the good shepherd, was an indication of his focused love, deep concern, and willingness to give all for the one.
As the Good Shepherd has rescued you, would you consider engaging in a similar mission to help rescue others?
Jesus’ mission was to seek and to save what was lost. He gave himself fully, even submitting to a horrific and unjust crucifixion, to bear our guilt, failure, and shame. Hours after the most powerful and hope-filled event in all of history, his resurrection, he showed his followers his hands and side declaring, “As the Father sent me, so send I you.”
As the Father sent Jesus to seek and to save what was lost, are you willing to make yourself available for him to send you to help carry out this mission, even if it costs you greatly?
As he wept over the death of Lazarus and in seeing Jerusalem filled with people who were like sheep without a shepherd, he knew his followers would weep many tears in carrying out this mission. He understood they would face mocking, rejection, insult, heartbreak, betrayal, persecution, injustice, torture, and even death just as he had faced all of these and more in carrying out that mission.
Knowing involvement in the Good Shepherd’s mission means tears and all kinds of hardship, will you remain fully engaged, not running away from difficulties but running toward them for the sake of rescuing lost sheep?
At One Mission Society, we’re passionately committed to a very strategic principle. When God uses us to help rescue the one who is redeemed by the power of the resurrected Christ, we seek to prepare that one to reach the many. As the one engages with Christ, forgiveness and restoration come. The result is a new creation in Christ; the old has passed, the new has come! In equipping the one to become a disciple maker, this remarkable principle is lived out. God uses that one to help rescue many, who in turn are prepared to rescue many more . . . and over time with God’s help, multiplication continues, spreading widely and growing deeply!
One God-glorifying, Christ-adoring, Spirit-empowered disciple-maker can be sent on mission by the resurrected Lord to carry out his rescue mission among many. This is why we engage the one to reach the many!