In the show, Arrested Development, a story about a hilariously dysfunctional family and the efforts of one son (Michael, played by Jason Bateman) to try and keep them all together, Michael’s son, George Michael (played by Michael Cera) begins dating a girl named Ann, much to Michael’s chagrin. Throughout the show, Michael forgets who Ann is though he’s met her numerous times, resulting in him asking the simple question: “her?” This gag then became a recurring joke throughout the show.
Oftentimes, I think the church takes this position about other people, asking “her?” or “him?” about the people that God saves. As a person who consistently has to battle self-righteousness and pride, I will be the first one to raise my hand and say that I’ve done this before. Yet, in the midst of my foolishness, God still passionately pursues me, just like he is pursuing you.
Jesus illustrates his relentless pursuit of us in the Bible when he calls himself the Good Shepherd. He reinforces this point of God’s willingness to save in a parable on the subject of, you guessed it, sheep.
“So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Luke 15:3-7 (ESV)
Regardless of the motivation of the straying sheep, the point about Jesus remains true: he’s coming for you. He’s coming for me. This pursuit isn’t motivated by anger or retribution but is purely motivated by love. Whether we have a tendency to get distracted by the shiny things of this world or choose to run away or both, God is still wooing us to himself. He’s coming after us because he loves us and he wants to be in relationship with us.
He’s already done all the hard work and he’s already paid the price, we have the privilege of receiving the finished work of Christ and walking with him daily. What an immense privilege! Though I am not worthy of being chosen, he has called me worthy, picked me up out of my brokenness, and invited me to walk with him. And I am so incredibly thankful for that!