And if so be that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Rejoiceth more of that sheep.—More literally, over it.Luke 15:4-10. See Poole on "Matthew 18:14".
verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep; at the finding of it, whose loss greatly affected him,
than of the ninety and nine which went not astray; who seemed not to go astray, were outwardly righteous before men, and, in their own opinion, being the same with the ninety and nine just persons who needed no repentance in their own apprehension, Luke 15:7. This same parable is related in Luke 15:3, and it being there more largely expressed, and along with other parables of the same kind, I shall refer the more particular consideration of it to that place; only observe, that it seems to me that this parable was twice delivered by our Lord, and that on two different occasions; once, as here, in his discourse on offences, and upon mention of his coming into this world to save lost sinners; at another time, as there, upon the Pharisees murmuring at his receiving sinners, and eating with them.And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 18:13. καὶ … αὐτό: if it happen that he finds it. In Lk. he searches till he finds it.—ἀμὴν λέγω: specially solemn, with a view to the application to the moral sphere of what in the natural sphere is self-evident.13. of that sheep] Rather, over that sheep.Matthew 18:13. Ἐὰν γένηται εὑρεῖν, if it happen that he find it) The finding of the sinner, therefore, is, in the sight of God, a something as it were contingent—IF IT HAPPEN that he find it: cf. on the loss of a sinner, Matthew 18:11, and Gnomon in loc. Therefore grace is not irresistible; cf. Luke 15:6; Luke 15:9; Luke 15:24; Luke 17:18.—ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, verily I say unto you) This formula refers to the Apodosis, as in Luke 11:8, and John 12:24; cf. the Divine adjuration in Ezekiel 33:11.
 See explanation of technical terms in Appendix.—(I. B.)Verse 13. - If so be that he find it. The quest is not sure to he rewarded. Man's perversity makes the result uncertain. No one may safely go on sinning, or living in careless unconcern, with the expectation of being finally found and saved. There is a limit to the patience of the Lord. If a man will not open his heart to good inspirations and cooperate with preventing grace, he will not be found and brought home. God forces no one to be saved against his will. Rejoiceth more. A natural feeling. Thus a mother loves better an afflicted child whom she has nursed through a long malady, than the strong and healthy children who have caused her no trouble and anxiety. The joy at the recovery of the strayed sheep is proportional to the sorrow occasioned by its loss and the pains and trouble expended in the search; and this pleasure would at the moment be greater than the satisfaction with which the other members of the flock are regarded.
If it should so come to pass. God's grace is not irresistible.
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