8 Min Read

Pyramids, Penguins and Prodigals.

Published on

January 31, 2022

Afew weeks ago, a friend of mine sent me a question another friend of his, had sent to him.

This was the question;

‘If the Shepherd in Luke 15 would leave the 99 to follow after a straying 1, how should the “abandoned” 99 feel? Wouldn’t they feel undervalued and disregarded?’

At first glance, this query seems very legitimate and justifiable. Why leave 99 obedient sheep, to go after one prodigal and wandering rebel? What if you lose the 99 upon your return with your 1? That’s even if you return with the 1! While you’re gone, wouldn’t the camp of 99 begin to feel valueless by your decision to leave them behind as you seek the possibility of restoring one? Why leave the assured 99 in hand for the elusive possibility of 1 in the desert?

It’s like a little girl hawking bottles of freshly made groundnuts. Just after selling to a buyer in traffic, she realizes her inventory is short of one bottle. She expected to see 15 bottles, but only found 14. Would it make sense to leave the tray of 14 bottles on the walk way in traffic, and go in search of the 1 missing bottle? It sure doesn’t!

In the same vein, it follows to think, why leave the assurance of having 99 for the possibility of having just 1? It doesn’t seem to add up, any way you look at it, right?

Until you view this through the lens called The Divine Perspective, it sure will not make sense and the first thing to note is this, we are not groundnuts! Lol

That parable in Luke 15 exposes to us the value system of Heaven regarding the lost. What God is trying to communicate with that radical pursuit of the lost is that for every lost sheep, God is willing to leave a 99 behind in search of them. Wow! That means, the true value of 1, is at least 99 others! Now, I know the flesh in the 99 wants to begin to murmur, complain and present their self righteous credentials like the older brother to the supposed “prodigal” son, but that sulky attitude makes the self righteous sheep just as lost as the wandering sheep. Only that such a person will be lost in the midst of a company; which is even worse! How do you locate a lost sheep among a company of 99?

Back to the value of 1.

The Shepherd is saying, with His pursuit of the lost 1, that the actual value of every straying 1 is the opportunity cost of the staying 99. Wow! Now, should that make the staying 99 grumpy? Well, perhaps if they’re in the flesh. However, if they peep into the keyhole of eternity, they’ll see that what God is saying is that, if any of the staying 99 should ever get lost, He could leave another set of 99 to go in search of them as well. The 99 shouldn’t see the pursuit of the lost 1 as a devaluation of their worth, but the exact opposite; an appreciation of it! It should mean to them, that if they ever get lost at any point, God will leave a 99 to search them out as well.

This tells me something really powerful; that the value of 1, is 99, and the value of every 1 in the 99 is another 99, and the value of each of those 1s in every set of 99 is another 99 entirely. This means that for every 1 at the peak of the pyramid, there are billions upon quintillions of souls at the base of that endless pyramid, all pointing to the value of that 1 at the top, which is you!!! Woow! This is massive guys! That’s how valuable every single one of us is to God!

Guess what? If God will go by the humanistic sociological ideology based on equity, equality and meritocracy, He will stick with the 99 and let the 1 rebel rot in desolation. The 99 may feel secure for a moment, but it’s only a matter of time, another 1 will leave and the Shepherd will stay put with the 98. As long as the 1 who strayed is less than the ones who stayed, there would always be a false justification for refusing to seek that lost 1. But that’s exactly how the 98 will eventually become 1 and all the initial 100 will be lost.

What we need to know is that the pursuit of that lost 1 is the true estimation of the value of each of the 99.

Our entire value as a community of believers is wrapped up in the effort we put into saving the lost 1. But what if something happens to the 99 while the Shepherd goes in search of the lost 1?

Good question!

Well, there is an infrastructure within the Camp 99 that keeps them safe and secure. It’s very consistent with the Penguin Survival Strategy.

The Penguins live in very cold Antarctic regions, but they each don’t have enough fur to survive those regions, so how do they survive? By moving and settling in large colonies. As long as they stick together, they’ll survive the cold. If any Penguin leaves the colony, he is more certain to die than any of those within the Colony. If God could install such wisdom in Penguins, how much more the Church? Together, we can weather any storm or challenge from hell, it’s that lost one that stands no chance. The lost 1 needs more saving, than the 99 need covering.

In conclusion, the attitude of the Shepherd to the lost should be the attitude of the 99 too. We feeling cozy within the 4 walls of the Church and pointing judgmental fingers at those without, does not secure us anymore than the Shepherd sticking with the 99 does. It’s high time each of the 99 took on the Shepherd’s heart and began to search for their respective 1s. If every 99 will each search for their 1 every single year and establish that 1, the whole world will be saved in just about 27 years! That’s assuming that we have only 99 saved Christians in the world at this point in time. You can do the math! By year 26, we will have saved over 6.6Billion souls for Jesus! Get to year 27, and we would need God to create 6 Billion human beings to match the 13 Billion soul-saving capacity of the initial 99!

I once taught a message entitled “Locate your 99”, but this piece speaks more to the 99 locating their 1!
Because wrapped up in that one Prodigal, is the value of every single Believer in the Camp 99!

May the Lord give us understanding.

Have a fruitful week ahead.

Dami Oguntunde


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