Living Free in the Spirit of Christ

Free The Church


Leave the Ninety and Nine

Jesus looks at the 99 sheep
Published on: Feb 8, 2008

Recently I attended a marketing seminar. When one of the hosts greeted me he asked me how I came to town. I told him that I moved here to attend a bible school. A lady sitting nearby listened to our brief chat and asked me after wards where I went to church. I thoughtlessly responded that I had nothing to do with those destructive institutions. Clearly a bad choice of words.

She was immediately offended and glared at me. I wanted to clarify what I had said, but she refused to talk to me anymore, stating that she had attended a church for 30 years and was quite happy. I said that I was glad that she was happy, and turned my attention back to the seminar.

When I sat there, I thought to myself that her hostile response was proof of my contention not to attend church anymore, but I said nothing to her, not wanting to aggravate her again. As I drove home the thought of the parable of the ninety and nine came to mind. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees.
Matt 18:11-14

11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (KJV)

When any believer reads this passage, it is universally agreed that Jesus is illustrating the love of God for the lost. The ninety and nine who did not go astray, arguably, are fine.

Then I realized that the ninety and nine are like all those who spend their lives in the church institutions. Because Jesus said that he would never forsake us or leave us, He is always with us, wherever we are. So He is with the ninety and nine in the buildings in that sense. However, according to the parable, He is not in the building, but out looking for the lost sheep.

It is one thing for Jesus to be with us, it is another thing for us to be with Jesus. If one spends 30 years in the church building, Jesus is with us, but we are not with Jesus. Why? Because He is out looking for the lost.

This woman I spoke with has a relationship with Christ, no doubt about that, but her relationship has literally boxed Jesus in, and limits her relationship with Christ.

Knowing Jesus deeply means going where He goes, not staying inside religious clubs. The Christians I know that have mature relationships with the Lord do not stay inside the box. Many attend the boxes weekly, but their lives in Christ go beyond the box into the world as well.

As for me, I am an outdoors man. I would rather be with Jesus in the field, than in the building.

Comments to Original Post

Amy
Submitted on 07/31/2008
Alex,
This is awesome. Well said.
~Amy 🙂

Editor
Submitted on 07/31/2008

Thank you.

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