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  #1  
Old Aug 14, '12, 11:21 am
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atassina atassina is offline
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Default Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Why leave behind 99 sheep? Would you leave behind 99 children to find one? It appears the shepherd is being irresponsible.

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
"Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?"
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
"Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost."
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  #2  
Old Aug 14, '12, 11:43 am
Della Della is online now
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

You may be over analyzing this parable. What Jesus was saying is that the 99 are not in immediate danger, but the lost one is and so needs saving. It's a symbol for the Church. The 99 are the baptized who are receiving the sacraments and are safely within the fold. The lost one is outside the fold and needs to be rescued. What does this tell us? That God cares as much for the lost sheep as those who need no rescuing--perhaps even more so. For there is more rejoicing in heaven over one found lamb than over those who are righteous and so safe. God was willing to let his Shepherd put himself in mortal danger just to rescue us who were/may be the poor lost ones.
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  #3  
Old Aug 14, '12, 11:48 am
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Nelka Nelka is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Della View Post
You may be over analyzing this parable. What Jesus was saying is that the 99 are not in immediate danger, but the lost one is and so needs saving. It's a symbol for the Church. The 99 are the baptized who are receiving the sacraments and are safely within the fold. The lost one is outside the fold and needs to be rescued. What does this tell us? That God cares as much for the lost sheep as those who need no rescuing--perhaps even more so. For there is more rejoicing in heaven over one found lamb than over those who are righteous and so safe. God was willing to let his Shepherd put himself in mortal danger just to rescue us who were/may be the poor lost ones.
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  #4  
Old Aug 14, '12, 12:18 pm
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atassina atassina is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Della:
How many of those 10,000 lakes have you been to. I was flying over your state once while the sun was setting. I thought all those silver reflections were the sun reflecting off windshields. Later one, discovered I was wrong.

I really wasn't asking this question for myself. I'm asking for a friend. So please suggest answers to these questions:

The parable clearly shows that the sheep are left behind in the open country unprotected.

-Would you do this with 99 one hundred dollar bills on Main street if one blew away?

-How do we know they are protected? What show us that?

-How do we know the shepherd is in danger?


I see this parable as a demonstration of God's love for us. My friend sees it as a dereliction of duty. Why jeopardize 99 for the one? Would you leave 99 children alone in a bad part of the city to save one who has wandered away?

Nelka: How you feeling about the olympics?
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  #5  
Old Aug 14, '12, 1:01 pm
Della Della is online now
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by atassina View Post
Della:
How many of those 10,000 lakes have you been to. I was flying over your state once while the sun was setting. I thought all those silver reflections were the sun reflecting off windshields. Later one, discovered I was wrong.
Actually, there are 20,000 bodies of water in MN, but we only boast of 10,000. And yes, they are beautiful.

Quote:
I really wasn't asking this question for myself. I'm asking for a friend. So please suggest answers to these questions:

The parable clearly shows that the sheep are left behind in the open country unprotected.

-Would you do this with 99 one hundred dollar bills on Main street if one blew away?

-How do we know they are protected? What show us that?

-How do we know the shepherd is in danger?


I see this parable as a demonstration of God's love for us. My friend sees it as a dereliction of duty. Why jeopardize 99 for the one? Would you leave 99 children alone in a bad part of the city to save one who has wandered away?

Nelka: How you feeling about the olympics?
Most shepherds of the day did not go alone into the wild with their sheep. Remember the account in Luke in which several shepherds were out watching their sheep when the Angel of the Lord appeared to them to tell them of Jesus' birth? That would be the normal way they watched their sheep. Also, shepherds had gazing grounds they shared with other shepherds, so most sheep had more than one to watch over them. Like cowboys on a cattle drive, there wouldn't be only one to do it. Many shepherds would band together to watch their sheep together and at the end of the day return them to the sheepfold, which is why Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice and they follow me." Sheep knew their own shepherd's voice and would follow none other. So, the shepherd who left the 99 to look for the lost sheep/lamb left his flock in the care of another shepherd until he returned, rejoicing, with the sheep/lamb on his shoulders--as Jesus related in yet another parable.

Besides this, parables were told to people of the time who understood that they were stories meant to relay some deeper theological/spiritual meaning, which we know because the disciples would ask Jesus what the parables meant or he would volunteer to explain them to them. People understood that leaving the 99 did not mean abandoning them to their fate, but rather leaving them safely in another's care while the Chief Shepherd sought after the lost one.

I hope that helps.

Addedum: About the Olympics. I haven't been watching them. I really have no feelings about them one way or the other. It's fine for people to excel in sports, but sports isn't one of my interests. It's okay, as far as I'm concerned. They have meaning for some people who enjoy that kind of event and it can bring nations together in mutual understanding, which is a good thing. But personally, I find it boring, but that's just me.
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Last edited by Della; Aug 14, '12 at 1:13 pm.
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  #6  
Old Aug 14, '12, 1:08 pm
Lancer Lancer is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

We see clearly God's love for the "lost 1" and his mission...his will and love...that all might be saved...

but we also see a directive and mission...obligations for the "99 in the fold"

...to stay in the fold (the Church...obedient in faith to Magisterium's teachings on all matters of faith and morals, Holy Scripture, Sacred Traditions and The Commandments)...so as not to give scandal (by sinfulness or disobedience)...to the "lost 1" ...and drive "it" farther away/prevent conversion and return to the "fold"...to the Good Shepard (free will is still in play for the "lost 1"...can still reject the Good Shepard's love and his voice)...a negative obligation for the "99"...but an obligation for sure.

...as well as a positive obligation to help get the "lost 1" back in the fold...to teach/preach/evangelize...by our fidelity, our joy, and our charity as made evident by our striving for holiness and doing good works...and most importantly (as St. Francis prescribes) using "words" only when it is absolutely necessary.
Quote:
paraphrased from: Commentary on the Gospel of Jesus Christ According To St. Matthew by Father A. Jones, S.T.L., L.S.S.,
Professor of Sacred Scripture and Hebrew,
Upholland (St. Joseph's Seminary 1880-1990) College, Wigan England
Pax Christi
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  #7  
Old Aug 14, '12, 2:02 pm
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Mumbles140 Mumbles140 is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

I think this parable is very similar to the prodigal son, especially in the rejoicing of the return of the lost sheep. The father does not value one son over the other, but he knows the one son will stay and do his duty, but there is great rejoicing in bringing back the other son.

The comparison to the dollars is flawed because the assumption is that all 100 dollars are in danger of theft or the wind, but this is clearly nowhere present in the parable in regards to the 99 sheep wandering off or being attacked/stolen.
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  #8  
Old Aug 14, '12, 2:12 pm
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Samuel63 Samuel63 is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

In the evening, the sheep tend to settle down and rest. The shepherd can then go out and find the lost one. There is a risk, but the shepherd is willing to take it.

This reflects how we endanger everyone around us when we sin and how our Lord loves us so much He is willing to retrieve us.
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  #9  
Old Aug 14, '12, 2:27 pm
SonCatcher SonCatcher is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by atassina View Post
The parable clearly shows that the sheep are left behind in the open country unprotected.
Are they? The place they are left is not described. It may have been a corral of sorts and there is "safety in numbers."

Quote:
Would you do this with 99 one hundred dollar bills on Main street if one blew away?
That's a different parable (the lost coin) and isn't a very good comparison. It's easy enough to stuff $99 in a pocket. It'll be seriously bulging if they're all singles but it can be done.

Quote:
How do we know they are protected? What show us that?
See response to first question.

Quote:
How do we know the shepherd is in danger?
I don't know about physical danger, but a common interpretation is that the shepherd would have to pay for any lost sheep.

Quote:
I see this parable as a demonstration of God's love for us. My friend sees it as a dereliction of duty. Why jeopardize 99 for the one? Would you leave 99 children alone in a bad part of the city to save one who has wandered away?
The 99 were not jeopardized at all, nor were they necessarily in the "bad part" of the pasture. Again, see response to the first question. Your friend needs to approach this question like a shepherd rather than a schoolteacher (who would be required legally to remain with the 99 and request a police search for the lost one).
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  #10  
Old Aug 14, '12, 2:34 pm
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thyrodandstaff thyrodandstaff is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

The parable doesn't state whether or not the shepherd finds a temporary stand in to watch his flock or if he always has one or more available. Shepherds don't have to be solitary. The point is a good shepherd goes to find any lost sheep and Jesus is such a shepherd of his flock the Church.

Also, the Lord is such a shepherd who is everywhere all at once, this all mighty shepherd can still protect his flock and retrieve a lost sheep at the same time.
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  #11  
Old Aug 14, '12, 2:56 pm
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IrishRush IrishRush is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
You may be over analyzing this parable.
I think the "may" in this statement was being generous. You have completely overanalyzed this. Take the parable at face value. It is an explanation of God's love for each and every one of us.
Nothing more, nothing less.
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Old Aug 14, '12, 3:04 pm
LegoGE1947 LegoGE1947 is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel63 View Post
In the evening, the sheep tend to settle down and rest. The shepherd can then go out and find the lost one. There is a risk, but the shepherd is willing to take it.

This reflects how we endanger everyone around us when we sin and how our Lord loves us so much He is willing to retrieve us.
Maybe he can wait till the night shift shepherd punches in and then could look for the sheep on his own time!
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Old Aug 14, '12, 4:15 pm
57Bill 57Bill is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

look at Luke 15 as well

Matt 18 - the sheep on the hills are much safer than one wandering down into the valleys.

It's a story told in context of common knowledge for that time, the 99 were safe.

As the sheep and 9 coins and older brother in Luke.

We should not think of ourselves as the 99 sheep, the 9 coins or the older brother.
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  #14  
Old Aug 14, '12, 6:15 pm
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atassina atassina is offline
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRush View Post
I think the "may" in this statement was being generous. You have completely overanalyzed this. Take the parable at face value. It is an explanation of God's love for each and every one of us.
Nothing more, nothing less.
it doesn't feel very loving when you are the abandoned and isolated one, deeply hurt.
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Old Aug 14, '12, 8:30 pm
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Default Re: Why leave behind 99? Parable lost sheep Mt 18

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Originally Posted by atassina View Post
it doesn't feel very loving when you are the abandoned and isolated one, deeply hurt.
But isn't the shepherd going after the lost one?
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