#DailyDevotion Let Us Rejoice With The Heavens & The Angels
Luke 153So He told them this story: 4“If anyone of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, don’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you find it? 5When you find it, you lay it on your shoulders and are glad. 6You go home and call your friends and neighbors together and say to them, ‘Be happy with me. I found my lost sheep! 7So, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to repent.” 8“Or suppose a woman has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the house and look for it carefully until she finds it? 9When she finds it, she calls her women friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Be happy with me. I found the coin I lost.’ 10So, I tell you, God’s angels will be happy over one sinner who repents.”
So Jesus tells these two parables after the Pharisees and Scribes are upset with him because he is accepting tax collectors and sinners who are coming to him and eating with them. They apparently don’t understand what is going on or don’t want it to be going on.
In one parable there are a hundred sheep and one gets lost. Jesus asks them wouldn’t they go after the one lost sheep and leave the ninety-nine to look for it. Well I’m pretty sure the answer is no. It’s just one sheep. Leaving the ninety-nine behind would put them in danger. So this is a bit a stark shocker to hear Jesus say this. But maybe Jesus says this to shock them into a reality of what God does. God is concerned for the one lost sheep. He becomes man and dies that he might save one lost human being to prevent them from eternal damnation. All the while the Pharisees and the Scribes are just happy that they are ‘good’ children of Abraham. Jesus continues in that the shepherd rejoices when he finds it, lays it on his shoulders and brings it back to the rest of the sheep. The shepherd calls his friends and says , “Be happy with me. I found my lost sheep!” So too there is rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to repent. The Pharisees and the Scribes didn’t see themselves as needing to repent. It’s not that they didn’t sin and know they sinned. They most certainly went to the temple and offered the sacrifices for sins. But they did not recognize their need to repent of their idolatry they made of the tradition of the elders above the Law of Moses. When John called for them to repent and be baptized, they refused. They thought they were good enough.
Then there is a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Now the stakes are a little higher. Before it was one percent, now the stakes are ten percent. The woman like God diligently goes looking for the lost coin. When she finds it, she too calls her friends to rejoice with her. Again, we see the message, “God’s angels will be happy over one sinner who repents.”
Jesus’ point to his opponents is tax collectors and sinners are coming to him in repentance. He came into the world to seek the lost. He has been doing this through his preaching and teaching. He is calling the Pharisees and Bible Scholars to rejoice with him even as heaven and the angels are rejoicing with him. Jesus even invites them to be repentant and to eat with him. But that is more fully discussed in the parable that follows these two.
The thing is for us today is where do we see ourselves in these parables. Are we coming to Jesus and eating with him in repentance? Are we rejoicing with heaven and the angels over sinners who come to repentance and follow Jesus or we upset like the Pharisees because Jesus is accepting these people who repent? May we always live repentant lives, following Jesus and rejoicing with those who join us in following and eating with Jesus.
Heavenly Father, may we join Jesus in seeking the lost and rejoicing with the heavens over their being found as well as living lives of repentant joy as we also continually come to Jesus and eat with him at his table. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.