Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 4, 2018

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me … But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 18:10-14.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually 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 any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying?  If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.  So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  Matthew 18:10-14.

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“So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.”  Verse 14.

Other doctrine will jump with joy all over this verse, claiming that this verse proves that God loves everyone, Christ died for everyone, and that the only difference between the saved and the saved is that the saved show themselves worthy of salvation by their own works or at least their own alleged free-will choice of Christ.

But, Reformed Doctrine studies the context and concludes that “these little ones” are God’s elect.  In other words, it is not the will of God that any one of His elect perish.

First, we see that there is nothing in this text by which the little one (one of the ninety-nine sheep) did anything to save himself or herself.  Rather, the little one was saved only because the shepherd searched and found the lost sheep.

Second, we see that these hundred sheep were owned by the shepherd:  “If any man has a hundred sheep”.  Verse 12.  Just because an owner searches and saves his own property does not mean that he desires to search and save property that is not his own.

Third, the fact that these little ones had angels in heaven for whom God was concerned (as the reason why we should not despise them) shows that they were part of God’s elect.  Verse 10.

Fourth, in the context of verse 1-6 of this same chapter, these little ones were identified by Jesus as greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and in verse 6 as those who “believe in Me”.

I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father;  and I lay down My life for the sheep.  …  But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;  and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish;  and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;  and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”  John 10:14-15 and 26-29.


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