The Value of One

19th JUNE 2024

Christ for Youth International
3 min readJun 19, 2024


Christ for Youth International

“Supposed one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” [Luke 15:4 NIV]

Sharing wisdom through stories is one of the oldest cultural traits amongst societies. Think about Aesop’s fables or Ananse stories and you will see just how old! Jesus often told stories to illustrate a kingdom truth, yet rarely did He communicate the same truth using different stories. The parable of the lost sheep is one of three, illustrating a key culture of the Kingdom.
At first read, you may have wondered why anyone would leave 99 to find just 1. Sounds like a big risk, doesn’t it? Well, the truth is there was a lot left unsaid which was obvious to the listeners of that time but probably not as obvious to us today.

The first was that, if anyone had a hundred sheep, that person would hire people to take care of them. This means that the person caring for the sheep was most likely not the owner or owned just a few of the 100. You can now rightly imagine the anxiety and dread of the steward upon realising one of the sheep was missing. What if people thought he had been careless? Or had killed and eaten it? Or worse still, had sold it? Not only are the name, reputation and integrity of the steward at stake but also the current job and future prospects as well. Too much was at stake to let it go.

The second thing was that the 99 were then left with other shepherds to guide them to a safe place. The others were not of lesser value. They were simply more secure. At the very least, there’s safety in numbers. The one lost sheep, however, was vulnerable and needed to be found quickly before the worst happened.

You know the biggest truth of all? Jesus was never talking about mere sheep. The story was about you and every other believer all along! We are either the sheep who has wandered off and is now alone, afraid, and vulnerable or we are the shepherd who is supposed to go looking for that lost sheep.

The lost one is still valuable. Getting stuck in thorny bushes, trapped in mud or scarred in the wanderings does not diminish the value of that lost one. This is why it is important to persistently search for that lost one and bring that one back to the fold. It may be just one but everything is at stake because of one!

Keep going till the lost is found. It may take days, weeks, months, or even years. It may take toil, sweat, blood, and tears. Do not give up. There is great rejoicing at the return of one.

Dear Lord, we all like sheep have gone astray. We acknowledge our need for the Great Shepherd today. As shepherds seeking out lost sheep, make our ears sensitive to the lost around us and give us strength to persist in prayer and love until we all return to the flock in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Further Reading: Isaiah 53:6–7

Bible In One Year: Psalm[91–94]