Scripture: Luke 15:1-7.
Stream or download The Parables #91
We are considering the question: Just who are the 99? Verse 5?
I am setting before you who I believe the 99 represent. The flock spoken of here could not be an ‘earthly’ body of people for a number of reasons. Here are the two reasons we have looked at so far.
They need no repentance.
Christ said He would never LEAVE His ‘sheep’.
Here are some more reasons.
1. Because the rejoicing takes place in heaven. Verse 7, 10. “And when he cometh home,” verse 6, ie, Heaven. There is rejoicing on earth over sinners saved but not to the degree that there is in heaven. We have very little knowledge of those rescued whereas the angels know of every sinner saved EVERYWHERE!
Heaven is the ‘home’ to which the Shepherd is taking the lost sheep, and where the 99 were left in order to find the wandering one!
You have a wonderful picture of it all in 1 Samuel 17:28. David left one kind of sheep in the wilderness to rescue another kind of sheep, Israel. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel,” 1 Chron 17:7.
2. Because of the place where the 99 were left. ‘Wilderness’ can give the wrong impression. It refers to a pleasant place, meadow. Jer 23:10, (Ps 23:20. See also Joel 1:19, 2:22 and Matt 14/13, 19, Mark 6/31 – ‘grass’, ‘rest’. Mark 6/39 ‘green grass’. Heb 4/9, ‘heaven our rest’. These benefits may be had in the ‘wilderness’!!
There are ‘oases’ in the ‘wilderness’. Nothing pictures heaven more than an oasis which is beautiful and pleasant and peaceful, in contrast to the emptiness of the wilderness around. So there is in heaven an oasis from this evil world. Sin began in heaven and it left its mark there for it too will be purged in the end, 2 Pet 3:10.
3. What we have said serves to bring before us the close link between the heavenly hosts and the elect of God.
It is closer than we can presently understand.
Their happiness at the first advent. Luke 2:13-15. Rejoicing for us!
Their interest in the scheme of salvation. 1 Pet 1:12
They are guardians over God’s people. Hebs 1:14 (look after), 2 Kings 6:17, Matt 24:31. Children Especially consider Matt 18:10. How wonderful this is!