October 27, 2013

God's rejoicing

Luke 15:8-10

“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

As an aside before we begin. Let's do a little Bible study 101. What we read here from Luke is one of Jesus' many parables. Now, when we look at parables, we need to be careful not to spiritualize every little detail. That isn't what parables are for. Parables are designed to communicate one main point, one big idea. The details of parables generally exist to help make the story more true to life and to engage the listener/reader.

That said, I want to look at the main idea of this parable. Jesus says that if a woman has ten coins, or perhaps we would say ten $50 bills, and loses one, she will most assuredly take any measure necessary to recover that lost money. She'll light a lamp, sweep the house, and when she finds it, she will rejoice and call up all her friends so that they may rejoice with her. So it is in heaven when one sinner repents.

Here's the interesting part...the part that I have missed most of my life. It's not the angels rejoicing. Jesus said there is rejoicing before the angels of God. Which means it is not the angels rejoicing. It is God himself who rejoices over the repentance of sinners. The turning of a sinful heart to Christ causes God himself to visibly express his joy. How often do I share that joy?

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I love Jesus, my wife, and my kids. Writing and teaching are two things I have a passion for. Gardening and fishing are cool, too. I blog @ willdole.com, you can reach me @ contact@willdole.com