Restoring the Lost

Jesus highlights the value of every single soul to Him and encourages us to hold the same value for every soul.


Recognize their value

Rescue them

Reinstate them to safety

Retain them in the fold

Bible Passage

Matt 18.10-14; Luke 15.1-7;

Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

12 “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? 13 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. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Bible Passage

Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.


The Great Shepherd Jesus tells the story of how much care a shepherd takes over every sheep especially ones that are lost. The shepherd is even ready to risk his life for it.

We are like his little children and need to value every other child of His in every way possible, including the despised in society.

Amazing Grace

John Newton was a slave trader. He once encountered a storm and prayed “Lord have mercy on us” With his hand on the steering wheel for 11 hours, they arrived safely to the shore.

Amazing Grace

He wrote the well known hymn “Amazing Grace” in the year 1772

Amazing grace how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found

Was blind but now I see  (verse 1)

Amazing Grace

John Newton, grew from slave trader to supporting abolishing of slave trade with William Wilberforce.

In later years, Newton began to lose his memory. Although his thoughts were limited, Newton said he could remember two things, “That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.”

Recognize their value

While Jesus picks up a child (historians say, a mentally retarded one), he often equates his disciples to children. Still young, dependant, naïve and vulnerable. Even the ones despised by society like children or tax collectors are of equal value to those holding high offices.

Are we ready to break social barriers to connect with the socially despised ones?

Recognize their value

Each soul is perfect. Human perspective exalts and belittles people, but every one is equally important in God’s sight.

Jesus mentions “their” angels looking at God. We don’t know what is going on in heaven but certainly this indicates a level of protection for His children and a level of punishment for those offending them. Those offending them offend God – Jesus mentions in the “millstone round the neck” example – a punishment for offence against Pharoah.

Recognize their value

Who are the lost sheep in Christ’s fold?

We do not know who will eventually reach heaven, so need to treat each individual with equal importance. Jews, Gentiles, socially unacceptable, socially acceptable, Christians, non Christians. Especially those who are weak and faltering. Every soul has high value.

Rescue Them

The true shepherd will go out of his comfort zone on a dangerous rescue mission – even for one sheep.

Do we look beyond the safety of our churches and warm and fuzzy Christian groups?

Do we step into a needy world in spite of dangers – just to rescue perishing souls?

How far are we ready to go to save and rescue the lost?

Reinstate them to safety

The salvation or restoration of a soul is the cause for greatest joy to the shepherd. It should be to us as well.

We’re excited over helping the poor, educating them, giving them clothes and food. How much more should we be excited about winning a soul for Jesus? How much more should we prioritize this one task of briging people into the eternal Kingdom of God?

Retain them in the fold

The good shepherd risks his life to rescue the sheep. He also protects them with his life. He often sleeps at the entrance of the fold to prevent enemies from entering.

We are protected with the life of Jesus flowing through us.

How much do we invest in discipleship so that others are strengthened and protected with His life?

Retain them in the fold

The good shepherd risks his life to rescue the sheep. He also protects them with his life.

We are protected with the life of Jesus flowing through us.

How much do we invest in discipleship so that others are strengthened and protected with His life?

Retain them in the fold

Some people may be annoying and stubborn. They may be hurtful and vengeful.

No matter how difficult they may be everyone deserves the same love from us that Jesus showed to us.

Everyone deserves a chance to change by seeing a reflection of Jesus in our lives.

It may take days, months, years, decades, maybe even a lifetime. We need to be patient and consistently loving.

Retain them in the fold

Churches today are slowly drifting away from their core principles. The world is entering the church and reducing it to another social club.

Are we defending the core values by standing up and speaking up when required? Irrespective of consequences. Or are we remaining silent as are many others watching the church and it’s sheep slide into depravity and lose the high purpose for which we are called?


1.To recognize the value in others we need to first recognize our own value. How can we achieve this practically? Give examples.

2.There are more and more political restrictions on “conversion”. How can we reach out within the constraints?

3.Winning souls is difficult. So is retaining them. Share examples of the long labour of love required to sustain and help grow believers.

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