Luke 15:7

Over one sinner that repenteth (epi eni amartwlwi metanoounti). The word sinner points to verse Luke 1 . Repenting is what these sinners were doing, these lost sheep brought to the fold. The joy in heaven is in contrast with the grumbling Pharisees and scribes. More than over (h epi). There is no comparative in the Greek. It is only implied by a common idiom like our "rather than." Which need no repentance (oitine ou creian ecousin metanoia). Jesus does not mean to say that the Pharisees and the scribes do not need repentance or are perfect. He for the sake of argument accepts their claims about themselves and by their own words condemns them for their criticism of his efforts to save the lost sheep. It is the same point that he made against them when they criticized Jesus and the disciples for being at Levi's feast ( Luke 5:31 ). They posed as "righteous." Very well, then. That shuts their mouths on the point of Christ's saving the publicans and sinners.

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