One of the great benefits of using some kind of marking system in your Bible is that it will help with recall. It will help certain themes stand out. This is especially true when reading Luke 15.

This is a familiar chapter to many, particularly with the story of the son who squandered his estate with loose living, Luke 15:13. There would be great joy when he returned. But prior to this story, we see the theme of rejoicing.

“Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!” Luke 15:6.

“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” Luke 15:7.

“When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’” Luke 15:9.

“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate” Luke 15:23-24.

“But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found” Luke 15:32.

Reading this chapter should cause us to rejoice.

First, we should rejoice because at one time we too were lost. But thankfully, through the grace of God, we have been redeemed from our sins. We should rejoice.

Second, we should rejoice because when it comes to doing God’s great work of evangelism, it truly is a blessing when a soul is saved. One of my favorite passages in this chapter is verse 7. The fact that even heaven rejoices when one person repents is so cool to think about. While many of us may never make the front page of a newspaper or have thousands of followers on social media, we can know that there was joy in heaven when we repented from our sins and began to follow Jesus. I love to use this verse after someone has been baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

The story of the son who was lost but then returned back home is a great story for us to think about. From this story, we should ask ourselves how we respond when a person repents. Are we filled with great joy? Are we excited and welcome them back into the fold with open arms? When we hear of someone obeying the gospel, do we feel the same excitement? Heaven rejoices, but are we rejoicing?

Jesus loved all men. He still does. He had mercy and compassion for those who were in sin. He spent time around the outcasts of His society. He would eventually die for them.

When a person is lost and then found, let us be sure to rejoice. Let’s appreciate what has truly taken place.