Luke 15:3 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentIn this parable Christ compares sinners to sheep going astray, and God the Father to a tender and careful shepherd seeking his stray sheep; wherein he secretly taxes the Pharisees for their uncharitableness in censuring him for conversing with publicans and sinners, and for their envy at the recovery of such sinners by repentance; assuring them, that they are far from the temper of the holy angels, who rejoice more at the news of one notorious sinner's conversion, than for many righteous persons who went not astray; like as a father is touched with a more sensible joy for the recovery of one son who was dangerously sick, than for the health of all the rest who were in no such danger.
From the whole note,
1. That the creature's aberration may serve for our instruction; the sheep's straying away from us, should put us in mind of our wandering away from God.
2. That Christ the Great Sheperd of his church, with vigilance and care, seeks up and finds out his lost sheep, and will never give over his search until he has found them.
3. That the recovery of one lost sinner by repentance, is matter of exceeding joy and rejoicing to Christ the Great Shepherd, and to all the blessed company of heaven: There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, or changes the whole course of his life, more than over ninety and nine just persons that need no such repentance. The opening of a sinner's heart to Christ, makes joy in heaven, and occasions triumph in the city of our God above; as when a young prince is born, all the kingdom rejoices, and the conduits run wine; so when a soul is born to Christ under the gospel, oh what mighty satisfaction is it to the heart of Christ, and to all the angels and saints, that another soul is espoused to him. "Oh sinner, Christ never rejoiced over thee before; thou has grieved him, and wounded him a thousand times, but he never rejoiced in thee until now." And if there be such joy in heaven at the conversion of a sinner, Lord, what rejoicing must there be at the glorification of saints.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.