"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:1-10
When publicans (tax collectors for the Roman government) and other sinners came to Jesus to hear Him and learn of the forgiveness of sins and eternal life which He offered to all, the Pharisees and scribes were critical of Jesus for associating with such sinners. As a result, Jesus told two parables to point out that anyone who loses an item of value will seek it until he finds it.
A shepherd with 100 sheep who loses one does not say, "I still have ninety-nine," and then forget about the one that is lost. Even the scribes and Pharisees would not do such a thing! Nor would a woman with ten silver coins who lost one of them just forget about the one lost coin and be content with the nine. Both the shepherd and the woman in these two parables would seek out and find that which was lost. Then they would rejoice because they had found that lost sheep or that lost coin. And, wouldn't we also act in the same way if we were to lose something of ours?
So also, every soul is extremely important to the LORD God. He created mankind -- each and every one of us -- to live for Him and serve Him in eternal righteousness. Because we fell into sin, He sent His only-begotten Son into this world a true man, that He might fulfill the righteous demands of God's Law for us and then suffer and die for our sins that we might look to Him in faith and receive God's pardon and forgiveness. Jesus Christ came into this world to save sinners, and, during His earthly ministry, He sought out all sinners and turned away none who came to hear His saving Gospel.
Since He had come into this world to redeem fallen mankind by His innocent sufferings and death, it gave our Savior great joy, along with the angels of God in heaven, when a lost sinner repented and turned to Him in faith for forgiveness and life everlasting. Our Lord Jesus was not afraid to associate with sinners; He shed His blood to redeem them!
Those who trust in Christ live in daily repentance, being truly sorry for their sins and trusting in Him for forgiveness and eternal salvation. And it gives our risen Savior, as well as the angels in heaven, great joy when we hear His Word, repent of our sins and place our faith in Christ and His perfect sacrifice on the cross. We certainly should not, as did the scribes and the Pharisees, consider ourselves righteous and in no need of repentance.
[Devotion by Randy Moll. Scripture is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible. More of Moll's devotions can be freely read at https://goodshepherdrogers.org.]