Luke 15 has what I consider to be some of the greatest parables Jesus ever told. He said, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost?”

The Bible gave a pretty good position to shepherds. But I learned this about herding sheep: they are the dumbest animals. They are really dumb! And if one dumb one starts one direction, they all get a sickness of dumbness and follow.

Now I challenge you to find one hint in this chapter that this sheep had any business wandering off. Not a word in the parable about that: “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders,” saying, “you silly dumb animal, you had no business being out here.” No!

What Jesus said was, “He layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing…I have found my sheep which was lost.”  (Luke 15:4-6) “He layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” It didn’t matter that the dumb sheep should have stayed home. It was gone. It was lost. He went after it.

The parable of the prodigal son is in the same chapter. In a sense, I sympathize with the elder brother in the parable. That son had no business wasting his inheritance on riotous living. But at the end of the road, feeding the swine, hungering for the swine’s leftovers, the Scripture says, “he came to himself,” literally, he “came to his senses”; he came out of insanity. If you trace the words down to their root meaning, he was insane in the path he was following. And when he came to his senses, he said, “Why, the servants are better off in my father’s house,” and he came home willing to be a servant. As he marched up the road, his father ran to greet him with a kiss.

What is that parable saying? Same message. The son had no business leaving, but Jesus is telling us the heart-view of the father. The father wanted him home, rejoiced at his returning and prepared a feast.

What is all that saying? “A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench.”