Luke 15:1

Then drew near unto him all the tax collectors and sinners to hear him.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
Rich then is that Shepherd of whom we all are a hundredth part; and hence it follows, And if he lose one of them, does he not leave Now the angels, inasmuch as they are intelligent beings, do not unreasonably rejoice at the redemption of men, as it follows, I say to you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance. Let this serve as an incentive to goodness, for a man to believe that his conversion will be pleasing to the assembled angels, whose favor he ought to court, or whose displeasure to fear. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
OrHe spoke of those ninety and nine whom He left in the wilderness, signifying the proud, who bear solitude as it were in their mind, in that they wish to appear themselves alone, to whom unity is wanting for perfection. For when a man is torn from unity, it is by pride; since desiring to be his own master, he follows not that One which is God, but to that One God ordains all who are reconciled by repentance, which is obtained by humility. ...
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Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Then drew near under Him all the publicans and sinners. πάντες, all, that Isaiah , many came together to hear Christ, attracted by His sanctity and by the loving-kindness with which He called sinners to Himself, and promised pardon and salvation to the penitent. For His preaching was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." S. , Matthew 4:17. ...
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Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
We may hence understand the extent of our Savior's kingdom. For He says there area hundred sheep, bringing to a perfect sum the number of rational creatures subject to Him. For the number hundred is perfect, being composed of ten decades. But out of these one has wandered, namely, the race of man which inhabits earth. But was He then angry with the rest, and moved by kindness only to one? By no means. For they are in safety, the right hand of the Most Mighty being their defense. It behoved Him rather to pity the perishing, that the remaining number might not seem imperfect. For the one being brought back, the hundred regains its own proper form. ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
Tell me, O Pharisee, why do you grumble because Christ did not scorn to be with publicans and sinners, but purposely provided for them this means of salvation? To save people, he yielded himself to emptiness, became like us, and clothed himself in human poverty. Commentary on Luke, Homily
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
That is, those who collect or farm the public taxes, and who make a business of following after worldly gain.
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Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
From which we may gather, that true justice feels compassion, false justice scorn, although the just are wont rightly to repel sinners. But there is one act proceeding from the swelling of pride, another from the zeal for discipline. For the just, though without they spare not rebukes for the sake of discipline, within cherish sweetness from charity. In their own minds they set above themselves those whom they correct, whereby they keep both them under by discipline, and themselves by humility. But, on the contrary, they who from false justice are wont to pride themselves, despise all others, and never in mercy condescend to the weak; and thinking themselves not to be sinners, are so much the worse sinners. Of such were the Pharisees, who condemning our Lord because He received sinners, with parched hearts reviled the very fountain of mercy. But because they were so sick that they knew not of their sickness, to the end that they might know what they were, the heavenly Physician answers...

Gregory of Nyssa

AD 394
But when the shepherd had found the sheep, he did not punish it, he did not get it to the flockby driving it, but by placing it upon his shoulder, and carrying it gently, he united it to his flock. Hence it follows, And when he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders rejoicing.
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
Who sought after the lost sheep and the lost piece of silver?
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Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
For this was His wont,for the sake whereof He had taken upon Him the flesh, to receive sinners as the physician those that are sick. But the Pharisees, the really guilty, returned murmurs for this act of mercy, as it follows, And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying The heavenly powers thus are called sheep, because every created nature as compared with God is as the beasts, but inasmuch as it is rational, they are called friends and neighbors. ...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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