The price of following Jesus is high. But the value of every single person in God’s eyes is even higher. God treasures every child, every man and every woman. He would like nothing better than that each person turn to him and start his or her life over.
The religious leaders did not like the type of people who followed Jesus. Because of this, Jesus told two stories about how valuable these people are to God. The first story was about a lost sheep.
Jesus asked, “If you had a hundred sheep and lost one of them, wouldn’t you go after the one which was lost? And when that sheep was found, wouldn’t you carry it back to the flock? Wouldn’t you call your friends together? ‘I’ve found my sheep which was lost!’ you would shout.
“In the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who says, ‘I’m sorry,’ than over ninety-nine people who think they are so good they don’t need God’s help.”
Heaven is filled with the angels’ songs of joy whenever one person comes back to God.
The second story was about a woman who had a set of ten coins. She lost one coin, which was worth an entire day’s work. Jesus asked, “If a woman loses one of these silver coins, she will search the house. She will sweep and look under the bed and carpets until she finds it.
“And when she has found it, she will call together her friends and say ‘Be happy with me! I finally found the lost coin!’
“In the same way, the angels smile and sing whenever one person says he or she believes in God and wants to live a better life with Jesus’ help.”
The people were amazed at what Jesus told them. It meant even, that especially the bad people were welcome in heaven. If they only said they were sorry, God would welcome them back and give them the strength to start over. Jesus was showing them the way into God’s very own kingdom. This is the way of loving God and loving others.