I usually approach this text through the eyes of the lost sheep. Jesus says quite plainly that someone who owned 100 sheep would leave the 99 to go and search for the lost sheep. How reassuring it feels to know that Christ will always search for his lost, and that he assumes any good shepherd would do the same. We need that word for us. How many times do we feel lost??
But what about the 99 who were left by the shepherd, how would they handle it? This passage is really about what God does, that God searches for his lost children. I think we can get hung up on the fact that the shepherd leaves the 99, but the real focus, I think, is that he searched for the 1 lost sheep. God does not leave us, EVER.
So this parable might be a bit limited because the shepherd obviously cannot simultaneously search for his 1 lost sheep and remain with the other 99, but God can.
See you on Sunday!