No Words Necessary

Jon Opgenorth

READ : Luke 15:1-8

“. . . there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (v. 10)

Her face had changed. Something was different. We had met Kyoko’s mother six years earlier. Even then she was a pleasant, peaceful person. But there was something unmistakably different now. Pleasantness gave way to deeper notes of joy. A peaceful disposition grew to richer depths of wholeness. Something was different.

Kyoko told us what had happened. Her mother, now advanced in years, experienced salvation in Christ during the previous year. She became a baptized believer in her congregation. We did not speak Japanese and she spoke no English, but no translation was necessary. We could see heaven’s rejoicing in the look on her face.

Jesus offers three stories in Luke 15 to tell us how heaven rejoices when a lost person is found by God’s grace in Christ. Heaven rejoices like a shepherd who finds a lost sheep, like a woman who finds a lost coin, and like a dad who welcomes home a lost son.

Heaven rejoices, but something happens to us as well. “But God, who is rich in mercy . . . even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ” (Ephesians 2:4-5). We pass from death to life, and it shows.


God of grace, make alive today those we love who do no yet know Jesus.