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Parables Of Jesus Christ: The Stray Sheep

The Messiah's parable of the stray sheep:

"18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

18:12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 18:13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:10-14 KJV)

"Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven"

Although many regard the parables of Jesus Christ as teachings in themselves (which they are), very often they were also used as an example to explain some other immediate teaching. The parable of the lost sheep (verses 12-14 quoted above) is actually about the "lost little ones" that He was describing as an answer to a question:

The Good Shepherd

"18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" (Matthew 18:1 KJV)

The Messiah's answer to the question, which He then later illustrated with the parable of the stray sheep:

"18:2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 18:3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven [see The Gospel of The Kingdom of God].

18:5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

18:7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." (Matthew 18:2-9 KJV)

Fact Finder: How do people become "converted, and become as little children" (Matthew 18:3, quoted above)?
See The Cure For The Carnal Mind


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