Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Seeking the Wandering

Often you hear of Christ the Good Shepard searching for His lost sheep. Usually this conjures up images of various Mormon paintings and the idea of a lost soul wandering in sin. The "black sheep" are also the "lost sheep." They don't know where they should be, and they really don't care. Tonight, as I was reading for my New Testament class, I read a story that changes that image for me.

In John chapter nine, the story is told of a man, "blind from birth" who is healed by the Savior. After he is healed, the man returns to his home and is seen by many who know him as the one who "sat and begged." The Pharisees claim that whoever healed him is a sinner because he healed on the Sabbath, but others argue that a sinner can't perform such miracles. The city is in an uproar. They go to the man's parents, demanding to know the full story. The parents decide to stay out of it. They affirm that the man is their son, and tell their friends "he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself." I immediately thought of a man about my age. Across cultures and ages, 21 has been the basic point for a man to come of age, give or take a few years. If he wasn't my age, this man was probably younger than me.

As the interrogation continues, he resolutely sticks to his faith in the man who healed him. When asked once more to explain how it happened, "He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again?" When his testimony is bluntly rejected, he is cast out from the city.

Now comes the important part. Jesus often seems to wander around the Judean countryside with little purpose or direction. On His way, He meets people and performs miracles. But verse 35 says "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?" He had heard that someone had been cast out for His sake, and He found him. That means He was searching. The Shepherd was seeking His lost sheep. But this sheep wasn't a sinner. This sheep was a faithful follower of Christ. He didn't know where he needed to be or what to do, but he was firm in the faith of what he did know.

Every faithful disciple of Jesus has days where they feel lost and alone. This world is scary and confusing. It is impossible for us in our mortal life to always know where we should go. But we can be sure that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is always looking for us. He will be there and seek us when we stumble. As we wander the hills of this world, trying to find Him, He is walking them too. He searches for us, calling our name. As we call back to Him, we will eventually come Home and dwell with Jesus and Our Father.

I know that God lives. I know that Christ is my redeemer. I know that He will continually seek us and not allow us to become lost so long as we are searching faithfully for Him. As we search prayerfully with faith, we will be aided in our journey home.
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