I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.
Heaven is a synonym for God. It represents the heart of God. There will be more joy in the heart of God over one sinner than 99 humans who don’t need to repent. Jesus was bold; He was saying that the joy over a repentant sinner is a peculiar joy which is truly reserved to Him. No one else really rejoices at the level that He does. If we have experienced that joy of being found, we start to understand on a much smaller scale the joy that the Father feels.
We as followers of Christ should never be found in the religious crowd who find the returning of lost people a casual thing. If someone receives Christ among church family or in a Dinner Party, we should be the first to celebrate and throw a party. We think the joy of heaven is higher for those who think they are righteous. Jesus smashes this perception: in fact there is more joy in the heart of God for one sinner than all those that say they are ok. This is important because if we think God is more pleased by us pretending, by our own works and our own righteousness, then we are missing the point. He is more overjoyed by us acknowledging our need to turn back to Him.
So if we need to turn back to Him in areas of our lives, we know that He is waiting not with anger but rather joy. He is waiting eagerly to reconnect with us, and when He does, all of heaven and all of His heart rejoices. Heaven is waiting to rejoice. It’s the heart of God to throw a party over one human who is found.
May we bask in His joy and be empowered by His rejoicing. May we be found in Him today.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey