Jesus said God is like a shepherd who leaves ninety-nine sheep inside the fence to hunt frantically for one stray; like a father who can't stop thinking about his rebellious ingrate of a son though he has another who is respectful and obedient; like a rich host who opens the doors of the banquet hall to a menagerie of bag-ladies and bums. God loves people not as a race or species, but rather just as you and I love them; one at a time. We matter to God. In a rare moment when he pulled back the curtain between seen and unseen worlds, Jesus said that angels rejoice when a single sinner repents. A solitary act on this speck of a planet reverberates throughout the cosmos.
-- Philip Yancey in “The Bible Jesus Read”