|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-10 The parable of the lost sheep is very applicable to the great work of man's redemption. The lost sheep represents the sinner as departed from God, and exposed to certain ruin if not brought back to him, yet not desirous to return. Christ is earnest in bringing sinners home. In the parable of the lost piece of silver, that which is lost, is one piece, of small value compared with the rest. Yet the woman seeks diligently till she finds it. This represents the various means and methods God makes use of to bring lost souls home to himself, and the Saviour's joy on their return to him. How careful then should we be that our repentance is unto salvation!
Verses 1-32. - The Lord speaks his three parable-stories of the "lost," in which he explains his reason for loving and receiving the sinful. Verses 1, 2. - Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them; more accurately rendered, there were drawing near to him. This was now, in the last stage of the final journey, the usual state of things. The great outside- class came in crowds to listen to Jesus. These were men and women who, through home and family associations, through their occupations, which were looked upon with disfavour by the more rigid Jews, often no doubt through their own careless, indifferent character, had little or nothing to do with their religious and orthodox countrymen. Poor wanderers, sinners, thoughtless ones, no one cared for them, their present or their future. Do not these in every age make up the majority? The religious, so often Pharisees in heart, despising them, refusing to make allowances for them, looking on them as hopelessly lost ones. But at no time was this state of things so accentuated as when Jesus lived among men. Now, among such care. less irreligious men and women, are man whose hearts are very tender, very listen if the teacher of religion has Mud, wise words for them. The grave and severe, yet intensely pitiful and loving, doctrines of the Galilaean Master found such. His words were words of stern rebuke, and yet were full of hope, even for the hopeless. No man had ever spoken to them like this Man. Hence the crowds of publicans and sinners who were now ever pressing round the Master. But the teachers of Israel, the priestly order, the learned and rigid scribes, the honoured doctors Of the holy Law, - these were indignant, and on first thoughts not without reason, at the apparent preference felt for and special tenderness shown by Jesus to this great outside class of sinners. The three parables of this fifteenth chapter were the apologia of the Galilaean Master to orthodox Israel, but they appeal to an audience far greater than any enclosed in the coasts of the Holy Land, or living in that restless age,
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then drew near to him,.... To "Jesus", as the Persic and Ethiopic versions express it: this was on the sabbath day, and either when he was in the Pharisee's house, where he was invited to dinner, Luke 14:1 or rather when he came out of it, when the multitude, who could not come near him whilst there, took the opportunity of gathering about him;
even all the publicans and sinners; whom the Pharisee would not admit into his house, it being contrary to their traditions to eat, and drink, and converse with persons of such an infamous character; See Gill on Matthew 9:10, Matthew 9:11 The word "all" is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions; but the Arabic version has it, and the Greek copies; and signifies that there were a very large number of them, even all that were in that place, and in the adjacent cities and towns, that got together
for to hear him, or "from him", as the Arabic version; or "doctrine" from him, as the Persic version adds: these having heard much of him; and it may be, might be under some remorse of conscience on account of their vicious lives, came to hear him preach.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Lu 15:1-32. Publicans and Sinners Welcomed by Christ—Three Parables to Explain This.
1. drew near … all the publicans and sinners, &c.—drawn around Him by the extraordinary adaptation of His teaching to their case, who, till He appeared—at least His forerunner—might well say, "No man careth for my soul."
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