Usually, I have viewed myself to be of the ninety-nine…..:
“Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming to hear him. But the Pharisees and the experts in the law were complaining, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.’ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent” (Luke 15:1-7).
The ninety-nine were in a good place—safe enough that the shepherd left them so he could look for the lost lamb. The ninety-nine are, in fact, referred to in the last line as “righteous people who have no need to repent.”
But, who is that? Personally, I am a saved child of God—one who has repented of my sins and received the saving grace of God, and now striving to live in a way that says, “thank-you, God.” It’s cause for a good life. But, in the previous two posts, I admitted to sin—Tax Collectors/Sinners/Fred & Pharisees/Fred. In essence, I am of the ninety-nine so I seek to live righteously, but it’s a life journey of transformation, and of being refined. In the story, the “righteous people who have no need to repent” have died and gone to heaven, where there is no more falling to sin.
If you consider yourself one of the ninety-nine—a child of God, that’s great! But remember, though you have likely repented, it is a good practice to re-repent, and to re-dedicate, as a “human” on this journey of life.
If you are of the 99, or in other words, within the life-long process of being transformed and refined, what has it been like?