Can you imagine the God of the universe leaving behind ninety-nine other planets and their populations to go in search of humanity on the planet Earth, the one people who strayed from His will for them? I’ve never particularly found the idea that we are the only intelligent creatures God created. The universe is so big, and God is so fond of diversity; I find it nearly impossible to believe we are unique ones He created in His own image.
Perhaps God has left “the other ninety-nine on the hillside” while He comes in search of us. Perhaps we are the only one — of many planets — that strayed; the one He decided to die for, so that we might join our brother and sister planets in the wider universe.
Of course, Jesus is speaking here of little children, of how we must not “despise one of these little ones.” (Matthew 18:10) But, the analogy He uses may actually have a different meaning than what we know.