Jesus trained His disciples for the same work. They, too, would seek the “lost” and bring them into the kingdom, through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit.
With these thoughts in mind, we need to consider a perspective Jesus also shared. Jesus referred to the “lost” as “sheep” (Luke 15:4-7).
These were the same kind of people whom the disciples were to seek so they could do their part in bringing “rejoicing in heaven” (vs.7a) over those who turn their hearts to God.
This is far from a “seek…see…and save” business. Sheep are known for being “dumb, dirty, defenseless, and directionless.” Now we begin to appreciate the harder work involved in this “sheep business.”
We begin with the first challenge. Sheep may not realize they are “lost.” Nor would they necessarily realize the dangers they face as a result of being “lost.” There is a lot of peril when one abandons Good Orderly Direction in life. There are losses -- on earth, as well as heaven.
Lost sheep also don’t appreciate how “defenseless” they really are. They do not recognize Satan as the “roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8b). Defeat is built into this battle if a person attempts to do it alone.
In our culture filled with major distractions, it is easy for the people to get “lost.” These detours may look “good” from a human vantage point, but hold no Godly value. Like the “lost son,” also found in Luke 15, “wild living” may be a temporary fix, but an empty life lies beyond (vss.13b-16). This is one of the paths of “directionless” “lost sheep.”
What becomes clear is that the focus of this “sheep business” is on very needy people (who may not realize how needy they really are). They may not appreciate that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a) …nor be aware of God’s “gift” of “eternal life” (vs.23b). It is likely they may not realize the “full” life Christ came to offer as the “Good Shepherd” (John 10:10b-15).
Yes, Christ’s “sheep business” is hard, but honorable work. It is the calling of every disciple for Christ -- to make more joy-filled followers (Matthew 28:19a).