I got Max a toy chest for his birthday, a little box in the shape of a bone. As of today, he’s got that thing full of toys, bones, and at least three of my socks. Still, the moment he loses his purple monkey, he goes nuts. For example, I noticed him digging at the edge of the couch the other day.
“Max, stop. Go find your toy,” I said, worried that he would end up damaging the material of the sofa.
Max ignored me and kept digging.
“Max, get your chew toy.”
Still, he dug.
Exasperated, I got up and grabbed his squeaky, his bone, and a plush chew toy. “Here, Max. C’mon puppy.”
Max looked at me for all of two seconds before he went back to clawing.
“Maxie! Do you want a treat?” I grabbed a bag of Scooby Snacks and waved it at him. He ran to me, tail wagging. “Finally,” I said, and gave him two treats. The moment they were gone, he ran right back to the couch.
“For heaven’s sake! What is it? What’s in there?”
I pulled out all of the cushions and eventually ended up moving the couch. That’s when I saw it. The purple monkey. Max bounded forward, grabbed it, then sauntered over to his mat, monkey held firmly between his teeth.
And that’s when it hit me. Max wasn’t concerned with the box full of toys sitting in the kitchen. He wanted the purple monkey, the one that was lost. So it is with Jesus when one of His precious ones goes astray. Not only does He look for us, He rejoices when He finds us. Better yet, He puts us on His shoulders and carries us home.
Luke 15:1-7 (New International Version, ©2010)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose 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? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.