|New International Version (©2011)|
I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
New Living Translation (©2007)
In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven't strayed away!
English Standard Version (©2001)
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.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don't need repentance.
International Standard Version (©2012)
In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don't need to repent."
NET Bible (©2006)
I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
“I say to you that there shall be joy like this in Heaven over one sinner who returns home, more than over ninety nine righteous ones who do not need a homecoming.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I can guarantee that there will be more happiness in heaven over one person who turns to God and changes the way he thinks and acts than over 99 people who already have turned to God and have his approval."
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.
American King James Version
I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
American Standard Version
I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance.
I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.
Darby Bible Translation
I say unto you, that thus there shall be joy in heaven for one repenting sinner, more than for ninety and nine righteous who have no need of repentance.
English Revised Version
I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, which need no repentance.
Webster's Bible Translation
I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance.
Weymouth New Testament
I tell you that in the same way there will be rejoicing in Heaven over one repentant sinner--more rejoicing than over ninety-nine blameless persons who have no need of repentance.
World English Bible
I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
Young's Literal Translation
'I say to you, that so joy shall be in the heaven over one sinner reforming, rather than over ninety-nine righteous men, who have no need of reformation.
|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!
Verse 7. - I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. "But," the Master went on to say, "what I looked for in vain on earth, see, I have found in heaven. What men coldly refused me, the celestials have joyfully given. These understand me. They love both me and my work, do the holy angels." This coldness, even opposition, on the part of the Pharisees and the religious men of Israel to himself and his works, to his teachings of mercy and love, seems certainly to be the reason why Jesus emphasizes, both here and in the next parable, the sympathy which he receives, not on earth from men, but in heaven from beings, inhabitants of another world. Men, have, however, asked - Why do these heavenly beings rejoice over the one more than over the ninety and nine? It is utterly insufficient to say that this joy is occasioned by the getting back something that was lost. Such a feeling is conceivable among men, though even here it would be an exaggerated sentiment, but in heaven, among the immortals, no such feeling could exist; it partakes too much of the sentimental, almost of the hysterical. This higher joy must be due to another cause. Now, the shepherd, when he found the wanderer, did not bring it back to the old fold, or replace it with the rest of the flock, but apparently (ver. 6) brought it to his own home. This would seem to indicate that sinners whom Jesus has come to save, and whom he has saved, are placed in a better position than that from which they originally wandered. This gives us the clue to the angels' joy over the "found one" more than over those who were safe in the old ibid. The Talmudists have taught - and their teaching, no doubt, is but the reflection of what was taught in the great rabbinical schools of Jerusalem before its ruin - that a man who had been guilty of many sins might, by repentance, raise himself to a higher degree of virtue than the perfectly righteous man who had never experienced his temptations. If this were so, well argues Professor Bruce, "surely it was reasonable to occupy one's self in endeavouring to get sinners to start on this noble career of self-elevation, and to rejoice when in any instance he had succeeded. But it is one thing to have correct theories, and another to put them into practice... So they found fault with One (Jesus) who not only held this view as an abstract doctrine, but acted on it, and sought to bring those who had strayed furthest from the paths of righteousness to repentance, believing that, though last, they might yet be first."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be heaven,.... In the church below, and among the members of it; which is sometimes called heaven, especially in the book of the Revelations; or in heaven above, and among the angels there; see Luke 15:10
Over one sinner that repenteth; for the joy in heaven, is not over sinners as such; for as such, they are not grateful to God, nor to Christ, nor to the angels, nor to saints; only sinners delight in each other, as such; but as repenting sinners, who are truly so: and these are not such, who only legally and outwardly repent; nor all that declare a sense of sin; or that are externally sorry for it; or are terrified about it, and shed tears on account of it; or that cease from grosser sins of life, and outwardly reform: but such who repent in an evangelical way; who are turned to God, and are instructed by his Spirit; who believe in Christ, and have views, at least hopes, of pardon through his blood; and have the love of God and Christ shed abroad in their hearts; from whence arise a true sight and sense of sin, a godly sorrow for it, an hearty loathing of it, shame on account of it, an ingenuous confession, and a real forsaking of it. Now the reason why there is joy in heaven over such persons is, because, without such a repentance, they must perish; and by this they appear to be openly in a state of grace; and become proper subjects of the ordinances of Christ; and this repentance is unto life and salvation; or these are inseparably connected with it; and this joy is abundantly
more, than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance; by whom are meant, either such who are really righteous persons; not naturally and of themselves, nor legally by the deeds of the law, but by the imputation of Christ's righteousness to them: and who need no repentance to be added to their righteousness, it being perfect of itself; nor the grace and principle of repentance, because they have it, and it cannot be lost; or change of life and manners, which is not to be seen in such: and the more joy over repenting sinners, than over these is, because the salvation of the one is before certain to them, and the other is unexpected: but to this sense it may be objected, that saints, even righteous persons, need frequent conversions, and the continual exercise of the grace of repentance; nor does it seem feasible, that there should be more joy over a repenting sinner, than over one, whose life, through grace, is a series of righteousness: rather therefore, such who seem to be just, or are so in their own opinion, are here meant; for only such sort of righteous persons and repenting sinners, are opposed to each other, as in Matthew 9:13 moreover, the occasion and scope of the parable, determines this to be the sense; the Scribes and Pharisees, that murmured at Christ's receiving sinners, are the ninety and nine just persons, who were only outwardly righteous before men, and trusted in themselves that they were righteous, perfectly righteous, and without sin, and so stood in no need of repentance for it; now there is more joy in heaven over one repenting sinner, than over all these: hence learn, that a self-righteous person, is an impenitent one; that a repenting sinner is more regarded in heaven than a self-righteous man: our Lord here seems to have regard to a conceit of the Jews, who distinguish between penitents that were allowed to be righteous, and such who never were guilty of any notorious crime, and so were perfectly righteous, and needed no repentance, and were preferred to penitent sinners: some of them say (u), that
"the prophets did not prophesy (good things and comforts), but , "to penitents"; but as for , "the perfect righteous", to them belongs that, "eye hath not seen", O God, "besides thee".---But R. Abhu says, the place in which "penitents" stand, the "perfect righteous" do not stand.''
Though Maimonides seems (w) to understand this, as if it gave the preference to penitents; his words are these:
"let not a penitent man imagine that he is afar off from the excellency, or degree of the righteous, because of the sins and iniquities he has committed, the thing is not so; but he is beloved and desired before the Creator, as if he had never sinned; for his reward is great; for lo, he hath tasted the taste of sin, and hath separated from it, and hath subdued his evil imagination: the wise men say, the place where "penitents" stand, the "perfect righteous" cannot stand; which is as if it was said, their degree of excellency is greater, than those who never sinned, because they have subdued their imagination more than they.''
However, these instances, with others that might be produced, show that the Jews had a notion of some men being perfectly righteous and without sin; which they oppose to penitent sinners, and which our Lord here designs, and seems to describe in their own language, and serves to confirm the sense given; See Gill on Hebrews 12:23.
(u) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 34. 2. & Sanhedrim, fol. 99. 1.((w) Hilchot Teshuba, c. 7. sect. 4. Vid. Kimchi in Isaiah 57.10. & Jarchi in Isaiah 44.5. & Zohar in Lev. fol. 7. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. ninety-nine just … needing no repentance—not angels, whose place in these parables is very different from this; but those represented by the prodigal's well-behaved brother, who have "served their Father" many years and not at any time transgressed His commandment (in the outrageous sense of the prodigal). (See on Lu 15:29; Lu 15:31). In other words, such as have grown up from childhood in the fear of God and as the sheep of His pasture. Our Lord does not say "the Pharisees and scribes" were such; but as there was undoubtedly such a class, while "the publicans and sinners" were confessedly the strayed sheep and the prodigal children, He leaves them to fill up the place of the other class, if they could.
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