Matthew 18:11-14 — 11“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (NKJV).
I want to draw your attention to a portion of this passage I have ignorantly bypassed my entire life until recently: “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?” Our family loves vacationing and hiking in the mountains. We have trekked dozens of miles through the national parks at Yellowstone, the Great Smoky Mountains, Glacier, the Rockies, and Yosemite.
I’ll be honest with you. The majority of the terrain we’ve crossed is not for the faint of heart. It’s rugged, strenuous, and sometimes dangerous. And no matter how prepared or conditioned we are, we hike each trail through the mountains vulnerable. Wildlife is everywhere, and we put ourselves in their territory on their terms. Not to mention, we often scale rocky inclines, tiptoe near cliffs, and venture into valleys. One slip or stumble could realistically lead to injury or worse.
The lost, broken, and unclean are not hiding out near the church house. If you endeavor to find them, you must go to the mountains to seek them out. You will encounter some risk on the way, and others will no doubt refuse to follow. Lay it all on the line anyway. Jesus thought you were worth the risk. Everyone is.
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