googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Luke 15:10: Rejoicing in Heaven

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Luke 15:10: Rejoicing in Heaven

I’ve often heard Luke 15:10 paraphrased as something like, “The angels rejoice whenever a sinner repents.” There are variations on that, of course, but the common theme seems to be that it’s the angels who are rejoicing. However, the verse actually says, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” So it’s not the angels who rejoice (although they might); there is joy in the presence of the angels.

Who then is rejoicing? I think the answer is obvious: It is God, in the Person of the Trinity, who is rejoicing.

In the entire chapter of Luke 15, Jesus gives us three parables: The parable of the lost sheep (v. 3-6), the parable of the lost coin (v. 8-9), and the parable of the prodigal son (v. 11-32). The person who rejoices in each account respectively is the shepherd of the sheep, the owner of the coin, and the father of the prodigal son. All of these are pictures of God.

God is patient toward us, and long suffering. It is His will that everyone should repent (2 Peter 3:9). He waits expectantly, longingly, like the father of the prodigal son hoping to see his son return to him. Then, when one sinner repents, God rejoices; His child has literally come back from the dead (John 5:24). Perhaps the angels rejoice also. Perhaps the saints who have lived before us rejoice as well. But none are as happy as Jesus!

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