Discussion of the Lost Sheep in Bible-reading Meeting（Part-1）
By Zhou Hua
Having believed in the Lord for ten years, I had read the New Testament so many times, and I had some understanding of the scripture, so I fully believed that I had the ability to understand. Yet, after attending an entirely new kind of discussion the other day, I felt ashamed of what I had thought. As I raise my head to look out of the window, I’m lost in my memory …
The Bible-Reading Meeting Several Days Ago
A few days ago, after breakfast, I went to the meeting place early. On entering the room, I saw Brother Zhang. Then I asked him, “Brother Zhang, how come you are so early today?”
He replied with a smile, “Yeah. Pastor Yuan is too busy to come here today. He asked me to hold today’s Bible-reading meeting, so I came a little early.”
I nodded my head and said, “Thank the Lord.”
He smiled at me, saying, “Brother Zhou, you are quite proficient at the scripture. How about you preach to us today?”
“Oh, no, no. It’s better you preach to us.” I said with modesty.
He thought for a while and then said, “How about this? Today, let’s change our meeting today. Instead of how we’ve done it before, with one person preaching and everyone else listening, we can discuss the scripture together. What do you say?”
I nodded and said, “Well, that’s a good idea! I guess we could.”
After a while, the brothers and sisters all arrived. After we prayed together, Brother Zhang said, “Brothers and sisters, we will break with convention at today’s Bible-reading meeting. We will explore the scripture together. Everyone can speak out freely, and talk about your understanding about the scripture. What do you think about this?”
After hearing that, the brothers and sisters were very excited and began to talk amongst themselves, saying:
“Good! Having the Bible-reading meeting in this way is nice. It’s free and liberating.”
“Yeah! In this way, we all can speak out our viewpoints. Then our meeting won’t be so tedious.”
At that moment, Brother Zheng stood up and said, “Brother Zhang, I’m failing to understand the metaphor of the shepherd seeking the lost sheep. Can we discuss this passage of the scriptures today?”
“Of course! Brother Zheng, please read the scripture passages.” Brother Zhang replied.
Then, Brother Zheng opened the Bible and read, “How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:12–14).
When Brother Zheng finished his reading, Brother Zhang looked at everyone and said, “Thank the Lord. Everyone can speak their minds freely regarding this passage, and explore the Lord Jesus’ will in this parable. Whoever has some insight into it can fellowship first.”
After some contemplation, Brother Qian began to speak: “My understanding of it is that the Lord Jesus is comparing us believers to sheep. If any sheep gets lost, the Lord will try every possible means to seek it, for He can’t bear to see any sheep be carried off by a wolf, or we can say taken by Satan.”
“Right!” interposed Sister Liu. “From the Lord Jesus’ words, we can see that He gives us human beings so much love. No matter how negative and weak we are, or what sins we have committed, as long as we turn back from our wrong path, repent and confess our sins to the Lord, He will rejoice in His heart. This really shows His mercy and love for us.”
I quite agreed with her opinion and, nodding my head, I said, “Thank the Lord! We indeed see the Lord’s love for us from this parable. He wants all of us to follow Him and gain His salvation, rather than live under Satan’s domain and be afflicted by it. So, we must always be considerate to the Lord’s will and assist those brothers and sisters more who are negative and weak. What’s more, we should spread the gospel more and bear more fruits, so that more people can return before Him and gain His salvation.”
At that moment, Brother Zhang looked around and said in a steady voice, “Thanks be to the Lord! You have all had a good discussion. Here, I want to share my understanding about this passage as well. The Lord Jesus compared us to sheep, and if a sheep is lost, He will leave behind the others to seek the one lost sheep. His words not only represent His love for us mankind, but express His resolve and attitude to saving us in His work. When the Lord Jesus was incarnated and came to earth, He could speak to people in a language they could understand, and He made analogies of the things mankind usually come across in our daily lives to express His heartfelt wish to save mankind. In this way, we can understand His will and feel His true existence and His dearness and loveliness. At the same time, we can see that there is no distance between God and mankind; He is right by our side, doing His work and expressing His words to save us. He is so kind and so close to us, that we can truly appreciate that His love toward us mankind is so practical, and that He cares for us all the time.”
After hearing his words, I felt somewhat shocked. I thought: “His communion is truly full of light today. That is what I have never understood.”
Brother Zheng, looking at Brother Zhang in surprise, said, “Brother Zhang, what you said came from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Praise the Lord. Please fellowship more with us.” Others nodded their heads and continued listening in earnest.
Brother Zhang nodded and continued, “Thank the Lord! To redeem mankind, God Himself became flesh to express the truth among people and did His work to save us. He bestowed so much grace and blessings on us and supplied us selflessly. When interacting with people, He wanted them to hear and understand His every word, and recognize His will, and not live in their misunderstandings, notions and imaginations. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.’ Why did the Lord Jesus emphasize these words? They not only contain His selfless love for mankind, but even more so they contain His humility and hiddenness. Some time ago, I read some words about this aspect of truth in a book. I have written them down, shall I read them to you?”
We all quite approved of it and said, “Alright. Brother Zhang, please read them.”
To be continue…
Source from: Find the shepherd
Read more on our The Lost Sheep Parable page.