Matthew 18:13
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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(13) Rejoiceth more of that sheep.—More literally, over it.

18:7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.To show still further the reason why we should not despise Christians, he introduced a parable showing the joy felt when a thing lost is found. A shepherd rejoices over the recovery of one of his flock that had wandered more than over all that remained; so God rejoices that man is restored: so he seeks his salvation, and wills that not one thus found should perish. If God thus loves and preserves the redeemed, then surely man should not despise them. See this passage further explained in Luke 15:4-10. 12, 13. How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, &c.—This is another of those pregnant sayings which our Lord uttered more than once. See on the delightful parable of the lost sheep in Lu 15:4-7. Only the object there is to show what the good Shepherd will do, when even one of His sheep is lost, to find it; here the object is to show, when found, how reluctant He is to lose it. Accordingly, it is added, See Poole on "Matthew 18:14". And if so be that he find it,.... Which is a casual and uncertain thing with the shepherd, but not so with Christ, who certainly finds all those he goes after, and seeks: for,

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.
Matthew 18:13. καὶαὐτό: 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,[817] as in Luke 11:8, and John 12:24; cf. the Divine adjuration in Ezekiel 33:11.

[817] 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 so be (ἐὰν γένηται)

If it should so come to pass. God's grace is not irresistible.

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