Matthew 18:11-14

Thy Word:

“For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” Matthew 18:11 KJV

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10 NLT

Parable of the Lost Sheep

“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:12-14 NLT

*****

My Thoughts: I guess you noticed right away that I kicked off today’s Word with a King James Version of verse 11, then I dropped back into our more conversational NLT Bible version for the remaining verses. Well, there is a reason for that!

Some newer versions of the Bible (NIV, ESV, NLT) saw verse 11 as more of a footnote, or a copyist’s attempt to make the book of Matthew match, or agree, with the same wording in the book of Luke (that verse also included). So, they eliminated verse 11 from the translation.

We are keeping the verse intact because (1) it is truth, and (2) it is a great segue (to me) for our next verses about the Parable of the Lost Sheep!

white and black goats

However, before we jump into these verses in Matthew, I’d like to share Psalm 23:1:

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I have all that I need.” Psalm 23:1 NLT

Last week I finished a study by Jennifer Rothschild called “Psalm 23 The Shepherd with Me.” As I read our verses in Matthew today, this study comes back to my mind because they seem interwoven.

close up of padlocks hanging on heart shape

My favorite word out of this verse would be “is.” Oh, how the Lord has tended to my heart through this word! The word “is” having strong connotation in this verse denotes an affirmation or truth. There is no misunderstanding about what the author (David) of this verse wants to communicate: The Lord is my Shepherd. Following that statement, he adds that because the Lord “is” his shepherd, “I have all that I need.”

For me the word “is” also implies surrender. Now, I know as women this is not a popular word, especially in today’s world where women are constantly fighting for equality. However, for me, I can think of nothing better than to surrender to my shepherd, Jesus Christ. Why? Because just like the lost sheep in Matthew, He also came and got me when I was lost!

If you read my testimony, you could argue that I wasn’t really lost because I knowingly and willingly ran away from the herd, and you would be partly right. You see, I had a skewed version of who the shepherd was and what he could do for me. (Personal Testimony Part 1 and Part 2) Worse than that, I didn’t really see myself as defenseless, nor did I understand there was danger in being alone. But God tells us:

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 NLT

lion roaring inside cager

However, just like those sheep, I needed a Shepherd to not only guard me from predators, I also needed a Shepherd to guide me!

Definition of shepherd: to guide or guard

Definition of a sheep: a timid defenseless creature

Characteristics of a sheep:

  • Timid, fearful, easily panicked.
  • Dumb, stupid, gullible.
  • Stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology.
  • Little or no means of self-defense; can only run.
  • Easily killed by enemies.

Some of the characteristics for sheep are not very flattering, so it’s tempting to shy away from comparing yourself to a sheep. However, what I’ve learned since I accepted and submitted to the Lord is my Shepherd, I’m a much happier and less fearful woman!

Furthermore, we are assured in our verses today that should we wander away from the herd:

“Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?” Matthew 18:12b NLT

man holding sheep statuette

Are you lost? Have you come to a place in your life where you know a change is needed but you aren’t sure where to go? Maybe it’s time to say ‘yes’ to the Shepherd and surrender your heart and life to Him? He’s waiting for you, you know. In fact, we learn there is a celebration just waiting to happen when you surrender your heart to Jesus.

[When He finds you], I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over [you] more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!” Matthew 18:13 NLT (Words in brackets are mine.)

It is His heart’s desire for none of His flock to perish to the roaring lion who is waiting to devour lost sheep:

“In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14 NLT

He loves you. He wants you. No matter what “sheepish” thing you have done!

selective focus beige and brown goat

*****

Closing Prayer: Father God, thank you for the comfort of these words today that remind us how much you love us. You not only gave Jesus, your only son, in exchange for our lives, but you come to find us when we are lost. What amazing grace! Father I ask if there are lost sheep who are reading this today, they surrender their hearts to you so they can be found and placed into everlasting life. Thank you for your guidance and protection, Lord, and I pray you lead the sheep I pray for every day into the safety of your herd too. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen

(Note: for guidance to surrender your heart to Jesus, please refer back to my previous blog Matthew 18:7-10)

 

 

11 thoughts on “Matthew 18:11-14

  1. Surrender is not necessarily an unpleasant thing! People often think of “surrender” in terms of a beaten, bloody, half-dead soldier who has no choice but to give himself over to his enemy. But there’s another kind of surrender, the surrender a bride gives her husband on their wedding night.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Cecilia, Some of your emails go to my promotions? or spam folder. So, just now seeing this. But, insightful, aa always. Boy, do we need the 23rd Psalm now! Telling myself “I shall not want for anything” & he restores my soul, my life daily. And, daily is all we can plan now in this uncertainty. Prayers for us all as we walk in this valley.
    Blessings, k

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    • I sure wish I knew how or why emails end up where they do. Most of the blogs I follow end up in my spam too. I have moved them to my inbox and it seems to work, but then it stops, so I’m as confused as you! Thank you from my heart for following and for your sweet words. You bless me and it confirms I’m getting the Lords thoughts right because without Him, I have nothing. So thank you for your uplifting words. Who knew but God that what He said would be so pertinent to what we are going through right now. This is truly a hard valley, and I hear the Lord calling his children specifically through this, reminding us we have a job. May we all remain strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9) and reflect His love appropriately, even when it’s tempting to do otherwise. Blessings to you and all of yours, Karen. ❤️

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  3. Beautiful!! Surrender “is” something that has truly been on my heart throughout Covid….I think I’ve been very mindful and have grown more in my faith as I allow that word to develop within me.
    Great post! Praying it reaches someone who feels lost and helpless and points them straight to Him for His glory!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too have been working on surrender, Alicia, but probably most of all trusting and obeying. There are days I wonder if He wishes He had left me wandering or says once again, okay Cecilia, let’s walk through this once again…, because He is faithful,I truly want to be faithful too. I’m so thankful for all of His mercies. Thank you for reading and your kind words. I pray hearts are changed too so we all have the peace and grace we deserve. Amen.

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