The Lord Jesus, our great saviour, equated Himself to a good shepherd. He described his followers as His sheep. He says that as a shepherd of a hundred sheep, He would leave the ninety-nine so that He could search for and find the one who was lost.
In this parable, Jesus is saying that He will never leave us or forsake us. He is declaring that He will conduct a fullscale search for any of His who are lost.
The Lord is faithful to those who trust in Him. He will leave no one who is His behind.
The Lord is lowly and humble. When He walked the earth in Israel, the great God who created all things could not be differentiated from other men. The bible says that there was nothing about Him that would make us prefer Him over others.
This is because we humans are made in the image of God so that means that if God tuned down His appearance far enough, He could pass for a regular human being. As Isaiah says in chapter 53 verse 2, "He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him."
Yet, this appearance belied a majestic, thunderous and overwhelmingly powerful and unapproachable presence.
If He were to stand in a police line-up with 10 other regular men, we would not be able to isolate Him as the one who created Aldeberon and betelgeuse and even the largest known star, UY Scuti.
Looking at Him standing there quietly while you looked at his family history that has him being born in a barn at the edge of a small village, you would not guess that the universe violently exploded into existence at His command and that He continuously sustains the universe and all that is in it by His great power.
The person in a humble attire and sandals would not be identifiable as the victorious Lord of Lords who was soon to humiliate and scatter the entire kingdom of darkness after He breached the headquarters of Hell. He sent spiritual powers and principalities scrambling in a frenzied panic when He unleashed the blinding fire of his righteousness on them. Many are still smouldering in embers to this day after that encounter.
The humble and lowly person Jesus Christ is now the absolute and final victor and He sits at the right hand of God the Father. He reigns over a kingdom of justice and righteousness and He offers reconciliation with God that was made possible through His sacrifice on the cross and the brilliant victory over darkness.
While Jesus was walking on the earth, He interacted with many people. He did works of healing for them but also talked with peoples from all cross sections of society.
To this day, Jesus is most famous around the world for the miracles He performed but next to that, Jesus is very well known for what He taught.
Most commonly, we see Him in the gospels teaching his followers the basics of the Kingdom of God. For example, He told the disciples that the Kingdon of God was like a mustard seed, the smallest seed that grows to be the biggest tree of all. This illustrated the truth that what Jesus was starting with the twelve men was going to grow into a huge tree that would be a dominant force in the earth.
We also see Jesus teaching people who came to Him with questions that they hoped He would have the definitive answer for.
An example of this was when Nichodemus, a priest of the temple, came Jesus in the night saying, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.” - John 3 verse 2.
It was during this meeting that Jesus uttered the immortal words, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” - John 3 verse 3
Another example was when a rich young ruler came to Him and asked, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus gave him the truth to His question and unfortunately, the young man was disappointed and walked away. After this exchange, Jesus again said words that have echoed through the ages: "Indeed, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” - Luke 18
For those who are born again, Jesus continues to be our teacher. Through the Holy Spirit, He guides our steps and deals us situations in life to prepared us for the life of the kingdom of God.
The Lord could place us in the wilderness of life to teach us how to be resilient and steadfast. He could then place us in a stressful situation to teach us how to be patient and how to navigate the shoals of integrity and purity.
Be teachable by God. Be humble before Him and accept His counsel and discipline. Learning from the Lord is a great thing and let no one take it away from us.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
- 2 Corinthians 1 verse 3 - 4
God comforts us in time of trouble so that we may comfort others with the comfort we get from God. A good example of this model of comfort was when Paul the Apostle was travelling across the Mediteranian Sea.
Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat. They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves.
- Acts 27 verse 33 -36
In this part of the narrative, Paul was the only experienced Christian on the ship. Using wisdom, knowledge and guidance he got from God, he calmly directed the actions of the crew and reassured them that all was going to be well with them.
In the end, they all survived the shipwreck and Paul had a pivotal role as a comforter to other people because He was reassured himself. In fact, so much so, that when he was bitten by a poisonous snake, he just shook it off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.
Greater love has no one than this, that a person will lay down his life for his friends.
- John 15 verse 13
The Lord our God loves us to a degree that we cannot fully imagine. He loves us so dearly that "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8 verse 38 - 39
The great God of heaven undertook to die a grisly death for us to save us from being lost to the kingdom of darkness. Further to that, He embarked on a customized project for each of us whose aim is to turn us into mature sons of the Kingdom of God. This project involves the renewing of our minds and the putting to death the flesh such that we become subjects of the Spirit of God.
The Lord our God demonstrated His own perfection through Jesus and simultaneously, paid our ransom to claim us out of darkness and all this was motivated by His love for us.
How then should we relate to the God who completed such a great and costly project on our behalf?q
Should we not brim with gratitude for His sacrifice for us? And in being grateful, should we not seek to know Him and love Him? And in loving Him, should we not commit ourselves to the purpose He has reserved for us that pertains to the work of His Kingdom?
In other words, should we not wholly give our lives to our King to use for His own strategic and momentary purposes of His kingdom?
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 23
The Lord Jesus died to pay for our sins. He died to redeem us. He died to pay our ransom so that we could be released out of the captivity of the kingdom of darkness. This is the beginning of the process.
Our spirits are born again when we believe in the work Jesus did for us and we trust in His willingness and ability to save us. We are filled with His Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit takes residence in us, a process of turning us into the likeness and pattern of Jesus is now underway.
Our souls and our bodies are to be brought under the Lordship of our God who saved us. As we grow nearer to God by being with Him and serving Him, our minds are renewed and our bodies brought into subjection of the cross of Jesus. Whatever parts of our sinful selves remain, they are systematically obliterated and what is left of us is a creature who is sanctified by God and who is led exclusively by Spirit of God and no part of us is yielded to the kingdom of darkness to perform the deeds of darkness.
This means that our souls cannot be tricked into participating in evil and our bodies are dead to sin and cannot participate in the activities of darkness.
In this state of sanctification, the Christian is living in Christ and is living for Christ. No selfishness or sinful inclinations have dominance in us such that can be used as platforms to be operated by the kingdom of darkness.
Our God undertakes this work of sanctifying His people and He who began a good work in us will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.