The Lost Coin

“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? “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!’ “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:8-10)

The previous Parable the “Lost Sheep” set the context for this Parable “The Lost Coin.” We have learned from the “Lost Sheep” that Jesus attracted the tax collectors and sinners, as they were interested in His teaching. We also saw that the Pharisees and scribes were grumbling because Jesus would receive them. In response to their grumbling Jesus told three Parables. The one from last week the “Lost Sheep,” (Luke 15:3-7) our study this week the “Lost Coin,” (Luke 15:8-10 and next weeks the “Prodigal Son.” (Luke 15:11-32)

All of these Parables have the same theme the Father’s seeking love for the lost. It is also revealed that this is the same loving attitude that we should have for the lost. This Parable, the Lost Coin, tells the story of a woman who had 10 silver coins and lost one. She lit a lamp and sweeps the house with a broom in search for the lost coin until she finds it. After finding the coin and with joy she calls her neighbors and friends to come and rejoice with her. An interesting truth is that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God when a sinner repents.

Some interesting things to note is that a silver coin, as the Roman denarius is equal to a day’s wage. The homes of the poorer people are smaller and have few windows. They are small and the floors are of dirt. Because of the dimly lit home and the dusty dirt floor it would not be easy to find the lost coin.

There are some commentators that see these three Parables with this interpretation. The woman in this Parable represents the Holy Spirit, as in the Lost Sheep the Son was symbolized. Jesus is recognized as the Good Shephard. In the Prodigal Son the Father would be featured. Seeing the woman as the Holy Spirit would complete the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is also said that the lamp represents the gospel and the broom represents the law.

I am not one to say but I do think this is reading more into the Parable than what is there. In most of the Parables of Jesus there is only one point and just one central lesson. It is also clear that the Parables are designed to teach, as Jesus had explained earlier.

This Parable reinforces the main point of the Parable of the Lost Sheep. The point being that there will be more joy in heaven over a sinner that repents. (Luke 15:7) In this Parable we read the expression, “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God.” Does this mean that the angels rejoice when a sinner repents? I think they do as they have a deep concern in our salvation.

We see in the Scriptures that the angels are active players in the salvation plan of God. They are not just flying about in a flutter but are actively serving the Lord in the redemption of man. As the writer of Hebrews tells us. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) They are watching over God’s Children as the Gospel of Matthew tells us. “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10) And the Apostle Peter tells us that they have a great interest in our guidance through the Holy Spirit. “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.” (1 Peter 1:12)

It was the angels that heralded the good news to the shepherds on that first Christmas morning. “But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11) And they will return with the Lord to establish His rule of righteousness here on the earth. “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.” (Matthew 25:31)

But note how this verse is written, “I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God.” Who is in their presence, God. Who will have the joy, God. “The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

We can find that there are four different attitudes that we can have towards the lost. We can just hate them as we hate their sin. This attitude is often found in the self-righteous. We can relate to them with an attitude of indifference and not been concerned of their lost status or spiritual welfare. Many a negligent Christian have this attitude. We can welcome them in and show God’s love towards them. This is the attitude that the Pharisees despised in Jesus. And we can actively seek them and invite them into the family of God.

We learn from these first two Parable that Jesus not only welcomed them in but He also sought them. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10) As followers of Jesus we should have an attitude of both welcoming and seeking them. Jesus is our role model, He is the One who should be living through us, and it is His Spirit that we are to abide in. So our attitude towards the lost is to be welcoming and seeking them.

Both of these Parable, the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin describe the heavenly joy when a sinner repents. What is our reaction to a repenting sinner? Are we indifferent, skeptical, judgmental, or do we have a deep joy in our hearts. When my children repent my eyes shall be filled with tears of joy. It should be that way when anyone repents. A repenting soul is an occasion for great joy here as it is in heaven. “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. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, March 30, 2017

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