prodigal sheep

The Prodigal Sheep

by Bryant Evans on April 12, 2019

(Kudos to my brother, Clark Sims, for stimulating these thoughts with his lesson Sunday.)

There’s no mistake in the title. I want to talk about the prodigal sheep. He’s the brother who finds his way back into God’s service after years of inactivity and without any help or encouragement from the brethren. Like the prodigal son of Luke 15, this wanderer “came to himself” and came home.

Unlike the sheep of Matthew 18 who was sought by his shepherd, no one came looking for him. He just showed back up one day. That’s a good thing, of course, but it is a little scary. What if he didn’t come home? What if he stayed lost? The sheep was sought. The only reason the sheep came home was because someone went looking for him.

Why don’t we look for the lost. Here are 4 reasons we leave the lost, lost.

1. We Think He Knew Better

If a Christian has been around for a while we assume he knows that he should be faithful to the Lord. When he wondered away we figured it was a deliberate act and, since he knew better, he would come home soon enough.

We probably should rethink that.

2. We Think She Needs a Break

Life has a way of ratcheting up the pressure. We all feel a need for a break sometimes. Even Jesus stepped away from the crowds sometimes. Again, we think that she will be back as soon as life settles down a bit.

But what if they don’t?

Maybe we should rethink that.

3. We Think They Are Out of Town

American culture is on the move. We travel a lot. So we often assume that people have taken some spare time to visit parents, see the grandchildren or take a few days of vacation. But when the vacation stretches to the second week we should probably ask around. Most folks don’t leave for weeks without telling someone.

Out of town? Maybe not. We should rethink this one too.

4. They’ll Be Back

Surely no one would leave or drop out! That would be crazy! It’s good to be happy and to think highly of our congregations but sometimes people do leave. A misunderstanding or unintended slight can drive people away. Jesus said to deal with personal issues (Matthew 5:23 ff).

Sure, they might come back…and they might not. Rethink this one.

That lost sheep of Matthew 18 would have died if the shepherd thought like we think sometimes. I’m glad he didn’t, aren’t you?

 Follow Preacher's Study Blog on Twitter @Preachers_Study. 
On Facebook, please like us at Preacher's Study Blog.
Contact Bryant directly by email at [email protected] 



April 9, 2019
Thumbnail image for Abortion…Again

Recent legislative actions leave Christians aghast at the possibility that a child, delivered alive, could be killed without legal punishment. At the same time, some state legislatures are resisting federal courts and asserting their right to govern their states without interference from those courts. They are crafting very restrictive laws which would limit or abolish […]

There’s more, please continue reading –>

Serving or Served?

February 18, 2019
Thumbnail image for Serving or Served?

There are many problems in the world which run the gamut from inconvenient to catastrophic, from too many meetings at work to nuclear proliferation. I probably cannot do much about nuclear bombs and I probably can’t help you with your work schedule but I am not powerless to serve. The follower of Jesus seeks to […]

There’s more, please continue reading –>

Fact Checking Your Preacher

February 4, 2019
Thumbnail image for Fact Checking Your Preacher

We’ve warned that your should never trust your preacher. It is not that preachers are dishonest (although some are) but that your soul is too important to entrust to anyone other than Jesus. After all, preachers have no innate authority other than that which flows from Scripture. They are just as fragile and breakable as […]

There’s more, please continue reading –>

Never Trust Your Preacher!

January 18, 2019
Thumbnail image for Never Trust Your Preacher!

Why would a preacher tell you to never trust your preacher? Isn’t trust inherent in the job of preaching? I mean, if you never trust your preacher, who can you trust? Gallup published a new poll last month which put preachers on par with journalists for trustworthiness. Only 37% of respondents rate clergy as high […]

There’s more, please continue reading –>