Sampson Kasapakis is a recent graduate of the Masters of Divinity Program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He currently works at the Orthodox Christian Network as the Parish Relations Coordinator and at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Fort Lauderdale, FL as the Youth Director.
Finding the Lost Sheep
Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. –Matthew 18:10-14
+This narrative of finding the Lost Sheep can also be found in Luke 15:3-7. Take a look at this version as well.
+Look at some of the bible passages where we are compared to sheep within parables.
Some examples are: 1 James 2:25, John 10:11-16, John 10:26-30, Matthew 25:31-46
+What is the symbolic nature of a sheep? How are we like sheep?
-“He calls them “sheep” on account of their gentleness, and because they yield fruit and useful things for us, as do sheep, providing wool, which is divine and spiritual protection, and milk, which is the spiritual sustenance of what is needed. The goats are the sinners, for they walk along the precipices and are unruly and fruitless”- Blessed Theophylact
-The Greek word for sheep is πρόβατον. It literally means any four-footed, tame animal accustomed to graze, most common a sheep or a goat; but especially a sheep. The word has a deeper meaning than just that when broken down. The word πρόβατον is a derivative of προβαίνω. When you dissect it you see two words, πρός, from πρός, meaning, toward, and βαίνω, to go, which is really from βάσις, which means a step, or in the verb form, to take a step. When it is broken down like this you can see why we as Gods People are compared to sheep. We are just like sheep, in a manner of we are to take steps towards something, and that something is God.
The weekly challenge: Be a sheep…I know it sounds ridiculous but hopefully after this it wont: “All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. “And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you…” –Matthew 25:32-34
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