Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents.
To this question we reply generally, that redemption is the mightiest display of the Divine attributes; and that, wrapt as angels are in admiration and adoration at their Maker, whatever sets forth His properties must be to them a fresh source of praise and ecstasy. Without doubt we must add to this general account, the affection which they entertain towards men as members of the family of creation, their consequent desire for their happiness, and their knowledge that happiness is secured by repentance towards God, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But probably the joy in question results mainly from the glory accruing to God, or from the manifestation which redemption puts forth of the attributes of Deity. And therefore we shall chiefly labour to show you how the scheme of our salvation was a new discovery of God to heavenly beings, and why, therefore, there should be joy in the presence of those beings whensoever a sinner takes hold of the obedience proffered in the gospel. Now, the wisdom, the power, and the goodness of God — under which all His other attributes are comprehended — these constitute the glorious majesty of our Creator; and of these, we are bold to affirm, our redemption is the noblest manifestation. If this be once proved, you will readily understand why angels rejoice over penitent sinners. Angels must be gladdened by every exhibition of the high prerogative of their Maker; and if redemption be signally such an exhibition, then redemption — as wrought out for all, or as applied to individuals — must signally minister to their joyousness.
(H. Melvill, B. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.