Bible Stories for the Young

The Rebellious Sheep

Can’t Be One of the Family


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The Rebellious Sheep : Can’t Be One of the Family

Around the time that Jesus was telling the stories about the Lost Sheep and the Lost Son, Jesus also told them how to help each other when someone wanders off into sin.

He said, “Just like that one lost sheep we were talking about, your Father in Heaven is not willing that even one be lost. If your brother sins, go find him and privately and quietly show him what he did wrong. If he listens to you, you have brought your brother back home.

“But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two others in My Family with you and talk to him again. That way the truth can be worked out by two or three agreeing about what the problem is. If he still refuses to listen, then tell the situation to everyone in God’s Family. If he refuses to listen to God’s Family — My expression on earth — well then, you can’t treat him like one of the Family any more.”

Did you know?

Of course Jesus is not saying to be mean to people, and He meant it when He said, “Love your enemies” and “pray for those who hurt you” and “consider others better than yourselves.” But if someone is not sorry about their sin and refuses to change, then they can’t be our buddy-buddy or be our BFF or be treated like one of the Family any more. We can’t be pretenders. Pretending, or letting them pretend that they are part of God’s Family when they won’t obey Jesus, is not okay. Jesus didn’t let people pretend. So, we can’t either.

Remember how God’s deal of rules included rules about what to eat and what to wear and about what was clean or unclean, Holy or unholy, “set apart as special” or “normal.” God’s rules were a shadow to teach us that there is a difference between the Holy and the unholy. Holiness was the rule in God’s House. It does matter to Him.

Jesus is telling them how we have a part to play in helping lost, wandering sheep find their way Home. Because if we want to be like Him and be someone who loves like He loves, then we have to try to help bring wandering sheep — people — back home to Him.

And Jesus told them, “If your brother sins, show him the problem. Talk to him about it. If he repents, forgive him. Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, if he comes back to you seven times saying ‘I’m so sorry,’ then you must forgive him.”

So go after the lost sheep, the people who have wandered away from God. But if someone won’t come back home, then you have to wait for them to come to their senses, because they’re not “wandering,” they’re rebelling. And if someone is not sorry about their sin, and they refuse to change or listen to God’s expression on earth, His Family, then Jesus said we can’t treat them like one of the Family anymore.