The Math of Love
Posted: Friday, January 27
Verse of the day:
"In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish."(Matthew 18:14 NLT)
In 2011, the United Nations reported the world population at 7 billion. 2.2 billion, at that time, identified as Christian. I’ll do the math for you. 7 - 2.2 = 4.8 billion who have rejected or who have never known the life changing love of Jesus Christ. The gravity of that truth can be overwhelming.
Can we then ask why Jesus’ story of one lost sheep uses a ratio of 99 to 1? Think about the people you see in a given day. Do you only see one unbeliever for every 99 Christians? Certainly not. If you do, you need to start leaving the house more often.
Using the current world percentages, Jesus’ story should have been about a frazzled herder, 31 sheep in the pen, and 69 sheep ravaging chaos across the countryside. The shepherd panics. He chases one for a while. He tries to corral three with a slingshot. He collapses in exhaustion at the unattainable. He returns home to find that three more have now escaped. He buries his head in the futility of his task.
I want to ask … is this what love should look like?
Absolutely not. Jesus constructed this parable with the utmost intention. In the eyes of the father, it isn’t 7 billion and 2.2 billion. It’s 99 and 1. He leaves the redeemed to pursue the lost as if they were the only lost sheep, the only lost coin, and the only lost son. Jesus is communicating the omniscience, the omnipresence, and the eternality of God. God isn’t pressed for time. He isn’t distracted. He loves each one as the only one. He pursues each one as the only one. This is the math of love.