Luke 15:3-4 (KJV)
And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
I note that Luke chapter fourteen began with a very similar tone, Luke 14:5
And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
In both cases Jesus used an animal, and a man’s natural care of it, as a foundation for reason concerning our concern for people. Just as today when a person can get in more trouble for abusing a dog than for aborting a baby, people then were prone to care for their livestock better than one another.
- It might be because we know animals can’t care for themselves without us
- It might be that we have a corrupted tendency to worship the creature more than the Creator
Jesus did not condone or condemn this exceptional treatment of animals above people. What He did was to use what is true of us to point out what should be true of us.
- If we would place the importance of an animal’s life above religious duty, ought we not do the same for people?
- If we would drop everything to find a lost animal of our herd, should we not pour ourselves into reaching and recovering people who have gone astray?
We blame people over animals because people make choices that lead to their own destruction. Also people can only be helped if they choose to accept that help. Animals seem to be more helpless and are easier to contain. We feel a moral obligation toward the animal because it is an amoral being. Perhaps we have lost our sense of moral obligation to others because we know they are capable of moral actions.
However we want to spin this thing Jesus’ lesson to us is that we ought to care for people at least as much as we care for the beasts of the earth.
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Luke 15:3-4 We Ought To Care
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