And when he cometh home
The house, or home, to which Christ comes and brings thither his lost sheep on his shoulders when found, is either the church of God, which is Christ's house and home, and into which he himself comes; it is his by gift and purchase, and which he has built, and here comes and dwells as a son over it, as king in it, and as priest and prophet there, and as the master of it; and hither he brings his people when he has called them by his grace, where they have a good fold and green pastures, and where they delight to be; or else heaven is this home, which is an house of God's building, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens; and which is Christ's Father's house, and his own house and home, and also the saints' house and home, whither they are all brought by Christ; for they cannot go there alone, and of themselves; they are brought by the power of divine grace as trophies of it, as to their own home; and such that Christ takes into his arms, and on his shoulders, he never drops them till he has brought them safe to heaven:
he calleth together his friends and neighbours:
the friends of Christ are the saints, so called, because of their share in his friendship to them; shown by his becoming a surety for them; by his assuming their nature, and dying in their room and stead; by his paying their debts, and redeeming their persons; by his intercession for them, and preparing a place for them in his Father's house; by supplying all their wants, and by his kind and comfortable visits to them; by his free and familiar converses with them, and by unfolding his secrets, and giving wholesome advice and counsel to them: as also on account of their bearing and showing friendship to him; as by their great affection to his person; by their attachment to his cause and interest; by their strict regard to his Gospel, and the truths of it; and by their diligent observance of his commands and ordinances; and by their regard to his people, and disregard to his enemies: and these are also Christ's "neighbours", they dwell near to each other; he dwells in them, and they in him; they love each other as themselves, and perform every office cheerfully in love to one another: moreover, the angels may be meant by the friends and neighbours of Christ, as may be collected from ( Luke 15:10 ) these are his "friends" whom he has shown himself friendly to, in the confirmation of them in the state in which they were created; in the choice of them to eternal happiness; and in being an head of protection to them, as well as of eminence over them: and these are friendly to him; as they were at his incarnation, and when tempted in the wilderness, and when in agony in the garden, and at his resurrection and ascension; and will attend him at his second coming: and they are friendly to his; are ministering spirits to them, rejoice at their conversion, encamp about them in life, and at death carry their departed souls to heaven: and these are likewise his "neighbours": their habitation is in heaven where he is, and they always behold the face of his Father there, and will come along with him when he appears a second time. Now saints are called together to hear what great things Christ has done for poor sinners when he brings them to Zion; and angels are also made acquainted with their conversion; and both saints and angels will be called together, when the sheep of Christ shall be brought home to glory.
Saying unto them, rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep
which was lost:
the joy of Christ, and his friends, is mutual on this occasion; Christ rejoices himself, and his friends with him: he rejoiced in his people from everlasting; they were the objects of his Father's love, and of his own; and he took delight in them, as he saw them in the glass of his Father's purposes, as they were chosen in him, and given to him; and this joy in them still continued, notwithstanding their fall in Adam, and their own actual sins and transgressions; but whereas they were lost in the fall, and by their own sins, there were some new expressions of joy upon Christ's finding them in redemption: it was with the utmost pleasure he engaged in that work; and with the greatest readiness did he come into the world to do it; and he went through it with great delight; he was, as it were, straitened until it was accomplished; the consideration of it made him easy under the apprehensions of what he was to endure, and supported him under his most dolorous sufferings; his rising again from the dead as the presentative of his people, filled him with gladness, and he ascended to heaven in a triumph: but yet still these persons, though redeemed, are in a lost estate with respect to themselves; wherefore in conversion there are fresh breakings forth of joy in Christ; for that is the day of his open espousals to them, and so the day of the gladness of his heart; when he sees of the travail of his soul with satisfaction; and large expressions of love are made to him; and his people are brought to some conformity to him; and communion with him, but still they are not yet at home; wherefore with joy he brings them into his church, which is his house, and their home, where he rejoices over them to do them good; and will express still more joy in the new Jerusalem church state, and still more when he shall have brought them to glory, and have presented them to himself, and to his Father, which will be done with exceeding joy. Christ's friends and neighbours, his saints and people, also rejoice at the conversion of a sinner; because the glory of the Father, Son, and Spirit, is displayed therein; and because Satan has lost his prey, and Christ has got a new subject; and because of the grace of God bestowed upon the sinner, and the addition that is made to their number; particularly this is matter of joy to the ministers of the Gospel: and angels also rejoice at it, because of the glory of God that is advanced thereby.