The joy is great because the loss is eternal!

Twenty-fourth Sunday

Luke 15:4-7

Once again Jesus uses something very simple – an everyday thing – to teach us about eternity.

An animal – a sheep 🐑 – is lost.

The lost sheep 🐑 – wherever she’s got to, that place where she’s lost is actually the road to Hell. Until that sheep is found by the shepherd she’s in grave danger. The shepherd knows that unless he gets to the sheep quickly she’ll be killed by a wolf 🐺, a predator. She won’t last long, so it’s time sensitive. So there’s real concern, a sense of urgency. If the sheep is killed there’s no undoing it, it’s final, a finality that means Hell, eternal loss, it’s an irretrievable loss.

And that’s precisely why there’s so much joy when the sheep is found in time, before tragedy strikes.

So in the simplest of terms, using a shepherd and a sheep that’s got separated from the shepherd, Jesus teaches us about God, about the nature of God and affirms not just the existence of Heaven, but the existence of Hell too.

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