15:7 I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner 1 who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people 2 who have no need to repent. 3
15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels 4 over one sinner who repents.”
15:32 It was appropriate 5 to celebrate and be glad, for your brother 6 was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.’” 7
1 sn There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents. The pursuit of the sinner is a priority in spite of the presence of others who are doing well (see also Luke 5:32; 19:10). The theme of repentance, a major Lukan theme, is again emphasized.
2 tn Here δικαίοις (dikaioi") is an adjective functioning substantivally and has been translated “righteous people.”
3 tn Or “who do not need to repent”; Grk “who do not have need of repentance.”
4 sn The whole of heaven is said to rejoice. Joy in the presence of God’s angels is a way of referring to God’s joy as well without having to name him explicitly. Contemporary Judaism tended to refer to God indirectly where possible out of reverence or respect for the divine name.
5 tn Or “necessary.”
6 sn By referring to him as your brother, the father reminded the older brother that the younger brother was part of the family.
7 sn The theme he was lost and is found is repeated from v. 24. The conclusion is open-ended. The reader is left to ponder with the older son (who pictures the scribes and Pharisees) what the response will be. The parable does not reveal the ultimate response of the older brother. Jesus argued that sinners should be pursued and received back warmly when they returned.