JESUS IS NOT WILLING THAT ANYONE SHOULD PERISH
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. 12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:11—14)
Jesus finished teaching a few verses earlier about causing one of these little ones to stumble. Jesus’ pronouncement on those who cause the little ones to stumble and go astray would be better for that person to hang a millstone around their neck and be dropped to the bottom of the sea. That is a severe punishment for causing a little life to stumble and go astray. Jesus acknowledges that there will be hardship coming that will stumble many. But the strictest of words was reserved on whom would cause people to stumble.
Jesus illustrated his point with a story of the shepherd who owns a hundred sheep, and one wandered off. Jesus asked, “Will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Jesus said, When the shepherd finds it, HE IS HAPPIER ABOUT THAT ONE SHEEP THAN ABOUT THE NINETY-NINE THAT DID NOT WANDER OFF.
Little kids often make innocent mistakes. They are often easily manipulated, misled, and deceived. Little children are not always aware of the danger of its surrounding. Everything they see is pure and fun. They will constantly wander off if you do not keep a close eye on them. Jesus describes to his disciples another aspect we are not often aware of. The little ones have angels whose eyes are always on the Father of what to do if something happens to them.
This is the heavenly reality that we are often unaware of. Heaven watches and is ever-watching over our lives. The Father sees and is concerned about the wandering believers. As believers, this same principle of little ones applies to baby believers in the faith. Often, many new and young believers are despised and neglected; thus, they wander from the fold. Jesus has a heart for the little ones and the newborn believers who are quickly walking off to dangerous areas of belief.
Jesus’ heart is really for those who are young but also despised that they wandered off to dangerous places in the faith. Jesus speaks about the JOY AND HOW HAPPY it is for the man to find his wandered sheep. In the SAME WAY, our heavenly Father is not willing that any of these little ones should perish. Our heavenly father will seek us at any length when we wander away from the safety of the fold. He finds joy and true happiness when he finds us and brings us back to the protection of his embrace.
We all have the responsibility not to cause any of the little ones that God brings across our lives, nor be the cause of weak and new believers to wander away from the safety of God’s fold and embrace. It is a warning to his disciples not to cause others to stray and walk away from the fold. We have a responsibility to one another.
This is such a powerful warning for me not to be the one who causes people to wander from the Father. I want to do my utmost best to point people to Jesus. I want to have a shepherd’s heart to reach out and look out for those who have wandered away from Jesus. I know I failed many times in this respect. I want to have Jesus’ shepherd’s heart for his loved ones. I will try my utmost to be an encourager of His children, not a discourager.
Jesus, thank you for being my shepherd who cares when I am not in the manner I should be. Thank you for seeking after me when I wandered and could not find my way back to you. Please help me see that you are always there, even when I don’t see and feel you. I ask that you continue to teach me how to follow you and not allow the behaviors of others to cause me to wander away. I need you daily. Amen!