NKJ Ezekiel 34:11-16 For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. 13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD. 16 “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.”
NKJ John 10:11-16 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
NKJ John 10:24-28 Then the Jews surrounded Him and said to Him, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. 26 But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life [as the shepherd Jesus seeks and saves the sheep], and they shall never perish [ἀπόλλυμι]; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand [as the Shepherd Jesus keeps the sheep from ever perishing].”
NKJ Matthew 18:1-11 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this [i.e. like the disciple who has humbled himself and has thus become as a little child] in My name receives Me. 6 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me [i.e. the disciple who has become a little child in the faith] to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes! 8 If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire. 10 Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones [i.e. the disciple who has become a little child in the faith], for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
NKJ Matthew 18:12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray [πλανάω], does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying [πλανάω]?
Verses 5-6: Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (Italics mine)
Verse 10: Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.
NKJ Matthew 18:13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep [referring back to the one] than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray [πλανάω].
NKJ Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones [i.e. the disciple who have become a little child in the faith as in vss. 1-10 above] should perish [ἀπόλλυμι, same word as in John 10:28].
NKJ John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish [ἀπόλλυμι]; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
Here is another reason not to despise these “little ones”: the shepherd— the Father (v. 14)—is concerned for each sheep in his flock and seeks the one who strays (v. 12). His concern for the one wandering sheep is so great that he rejoices more over its restoration than over the ninety-nine that do not stray (v. 13). With a God like that, how dare anyone cause even one of these sheep to go astray? Jesus drives the lesson home: the heavenly Father is unwilling for any of “these little ones” (see on vv. 3-6) to be lost. If that is his will, it is shocking that anyone else would seek to lead one of “these little ones” astray. This love for the individual sheep is not at the expense of the entire flock but so that the flock as a whole may not lose a single one of its members. (EBC, Vol. 8, p. 401)
What is revealed about the character of God is the value he places on even the least deserving and the care he extends to such people. God is not passive, waiting for people to approach him after they get their lives in order. He is the seeking God who takes the initiative to bring people back …. (Stories With Intent: A Comprehensive Guide to the Parables of Jesus, p. 109)
NKJ Matthew 18:15-20 Moreover if your brother sins against you [singular], go and tell him his fault between you [singular] and him alone. If he hears you [singular], you [singular] have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you [singular] one or two more, that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you [singular] like a heathen and a tax collector. 18 Assuredly, I say to you [plural], whatever you bind [plural] on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [plural] on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you [plural] that if two of you [plural] agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three [i.e the original person (vs. 15) plus the one or two more that he takes with him (vs. 16)] are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.
NKJ Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you [i.e. the elders, for no others could be in mind here], and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.
NKJ Galatians 6:1-2 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.