Then Jesus told them this parable:
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country? And go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, He joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” I tell you that in the same way there is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons Who do not need to repent. Luke 15:3-7
Let’s change the story to fit a 2000 era cowboy. A Colorado rancher was up most of the night helping a heifer with her first calf. Then, after a full day’s work, he noticed in the north sky a storm brewing; it won’t be long and a spring blizzard will be blowing through.
He gathers his herd and has them safe from the storm and as he is shutting the gate he notices one cow is missing her calf. The rancher shakes his head knowing that if the storm is as bad as it looks no baby calf could make it. He gets on his horse, calls for his blue heeler and off he goes looking for the calf. The north wind starts howling and he pulls his coat tighter around his neck. He has looked in the cedars without any luck. The storm is getting closer and the temperature is dropping fast. It starts snowing and still the rancher and his trusty dog haven’t found the calf. No way is that rancher going to give up—the calf is important to him. He goes down into the last draw and there is the little calf, curled up waiting for his Mom to come and get him; not realizing the trouble that was coming.
It is now blowing snow. The rancher is cold, tired, hungry, and happy. He found his calf. He puts the calf up on his horse and they head for home—smiling. The tired cowboy puts his horse up, bedding him down and giving him an extra chunk of hay. He looks at ‘ole Blue and says “Come on, let’s go to the house and get warm, you worked hard today.” Dinner is good and the family is glad that the calf is home safe.
Jesus is much like the rancher—he came to earth to seek and to save those that are lost. No matter how hard or how long it takes to gather in each of us, we are worth it to God. God and the angels in heaven rejoice whenever one of us comes home to rest in the presence of God. You may not have known it, but when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, there was a party in heaven. Isn’t that a great thing to know—you made God happy on the day you came to Him.