The Lost Coin (Lk 15:8-10)
8* “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
9* “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!’
10* “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
1. Any woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin…
a. Will light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it
b. Upon finding it will call her friends and neighbors together to rejoice with her
2. In similar fashion, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents – Lk 15:8-10
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION…
1. The silver coin, like the Roman denarius, was equivalent to a day’s wage
2. The home of the poorer classes was usually small, with dirt floors and few windows
3. Finding a lost coin in a dark and dusty place would not be easy
WHAT THE PARABLE MEANS…
William Hendriksen, in his commentary, relates some interesting “explanations”
a. That the woman symbolizes the Holy Spirit, supposedly because…
1) The Son was symbolized in the parable of “Lost Sheep”
2) The Father would be featured in the parable of “The Prodigal Son” — Therefore having the woman represent the Spirit would complete the trinity
b. That the lamp represents the gospel
c. That the broom signifies the Law
But Hendriksen discounts such imaginative allegorizing (as do I)
a. As with most parables, there is only one point, just one central lesson
b. And Jesus’ own explanation makes it clear what the parable is designed to teach
This parable reinforces the main point in the previous parable…
a. That there will be “more joy in heaven” over one sinner who repents – Lk 15:7
b. Here, the expression is “joy in the presence of the angels of God” – vs 10.
1) Does this mean to say that angels rejoice when a sinner repents?
a) They certainly take a deep interest in our salvation –
1 Pet. 1:10-12
10* ¶ As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
11* seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
12* It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.
13* But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?
14* Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
b) Angels have been, and will be, involved in carrying out God’s plan of salvation
Lk 2:10-14 – Angels announced the coming of the savior
Mt 25:31 – When Christ returns all the angels return with him
2 Thess 1:7-8
7* and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,
8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
2) But note that Jesus said here, there is “joy in the presence of the angels of God” – vs 10.
a) The joy is experienced in their presence, not in them per se
b) Who is in their presence? God!
c) He Who dwells in the presence of angles will greatly rejoice!
11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord GOD, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’
2 Pet. 3:9
9* ¶ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Again, this parable’s theme is similar to the others in this chapter: “The Father’s yearning love for
the lost”. Such love is evident by the joy “in heaven” and “in the presence of angels” when just one sinner repents.
So let’s make some practical applications of this parable:
WHAT SHOULD OUR ATTITUDE BE TOWARD THE LOST… ???
There are four different attitudes one can assume toward the lost:
1. Hate them (self-righteous individuals may have this attitude)
b. Regard them with indifference (some Christians have this attitude)
c. Welcome them when they come to you (the Pharisees and scribes considered Jesus guilty of this one)
d. Seek them
From the first two parables and the setting which precipitated their telling, we learn…
a. Jesus not only “welcomed” them (option “c”)
b. He “sought” them! (option “d”) – e.g., Lk 19:10 (cf. v. 5); Jn 10:16
— So our attitude should be one of both welcoming and seeking those who are lost!
WHAT SHOULD OUR ATTITUDE BE TOWARD THE PENITENT…
1. Both parables (“The Lost Sheep” and “The Lost Coin”) describe the heavenly joy when a sinner repents – Lk 15:7,10
2. What is our attitude when a sinner repents?
a. Are we indifferent? (“Ho hum, so what…”)
b. Are we skeptical? (“I wonder if they really repented”)
c. Are we judgmental? (“Shame on them for sinning in the first place!”)
d. Or are we full of joy? (“That’s wonderful! Praise be to God!”)
— When a soul repents, it should be an occasion of great joy! Let me give you an example:
2 Cor. 7:4-9
4* Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction.
5* ¶ For even when we came into Macedonia our flesh had no rest, but we were afflicted on every side: conflicts without, fears within.
6* But God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
7* and not only by his coming, but also by the comfort with which he was comforted in you, as he reported to us your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me; so that I rejoiced even more.
8* For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it–for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while–
9* I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.
The parable of “The Lost Coin” should serve to remind us that…
a. God not only welcomes sinners, He goes out of His way to save them!
b. God rejoices when sinners repent
It is important that we posses these same attitudes toward the lost…
a. First, and foremost, because we are to imitate our Father and our Savior – Ep 5:1-2
b. Secondly, Jesus felt it important enough to tell two parables that are virtually identical
1) Perhaps for sake of emphasis
2) Perhaps one to strike home to the men (“The Lost Sheep”), and the other to drive the point home to the women (“The Lost Coin”)
c. But also, because Jesus went on to tell another parable that will make the point even stronger!
— That parable is “The Prodigal Son”, which we hope to consider in our next lesson.