“I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
King James Version (KJV)
15:7 Joy shall be - Solemn and festal joy, in heaven - First, in our blessed Lord himself, and then among the angels and spirits of just men, perhaps informed thereof by God himself, or by the angels who ministered to them. Over one sinner - One gross, open, notorious sinner, that repenteth - That is, thoroughly changed in heart and life; more than over ninety and nine just persons - Comparatively just, outwardly blameless: that need not such a repentance - For they need not, cannot repent of the sins which they never committed. The sum is, as a father peculiarly rejoices when an extravagant child, supposed to be utterly lost, comes to a thorough sense of his duty; or as any other person who has recovered what he had given up for gone, has a more sensible satisfaction in it, than in several other things equally valuable, but not in such danger: so do the angels in heaven peculiarly rejoice in the conversion of the most abandoned sinners. Yea, and God himself so readily forgives and receives them, that he may be represented as having part in the joy.
Lu 15:7 Joy shall be in heaven. The Father rejoices and the Son and the angels with him. Over one sinner that repenteth. That "comes to himself", decides to leave off sin and to serve God. Repentance means a change of mind or heart. Than over ninety and nine righteous persons. Over those who are already in Christ, safe, and need no repentance. It is the saving of the lost that brings the greatest joy.