Impartial Grace: Matthew 18

What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

(Matthew 18:12-14, emphasis added)

We find the same account of Christ’s words in Luke 15. The shepherd seeks the lost until he finds them. The shepherd puts the lost one on his shoulders and rejoices. The account in Luke states, “I have found my sheep which was lost.”

The Twelve Disciples were concerned about the status of people in the Kingdom. Their motivation was self serving. They ask Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Our Lord draws a child close to Himself and speaks of the child’s place in the Kingdom. The child is innocent and has not yet been corrupted by the ways of the flesh. The child is loved unconditionally by the Father Who created him. Then Jesus speaks to the love of the Father and of the Shepherd. Jesus gives us insight to the measure of God’s love for His people. Jesus declares the Shepherd will leave 99 of His flock unprotected, but safe to seek out the one member of His flock which is lost.

In our Heavenly Father’s eyes His creation is loved. His love is not withheld from some, it is love for all. God’s perfect love is not overwhelmed by His wrath. In fact, His eternal and Divine love overwhelms all wrath. His wrath and His anger are satisfied when Christ was crucified for the sin of the world?

The Shepherd does not stop searching for the “lost one.” Mr. Sprenger points out in his editorial comments that Jesus does find the lost one as Scripture says. “When” the Shepherd finds the lost one He carries him home. The lost one is the subject of great rejoicing at the Shepherd’s home. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

His mercy is fresh every day. He loves us and then we love Him. He created us in His image and He loves His creation. His love for His creation does not change because His creation hates its Creator. He loves the rebellious and His patience is immeasurable. “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is the Christ to the glory of God the Father.” We are all His “little ones” and “…it is not His will that any of these little ones perish.” It is good to give glory to God Who gives life abundantly. We are all His sheep and He will lose none of His flock. This is “The Blessed Hope.” This is Impartial Grace.