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The Lost Coin Found


               CHAPTER 22  THE LOST COIN FOUND


          The Parable of the Lost Coin Found is recorded  only  in
       Luke 15:8-10.

The Story
                          "Or suppose a woman has  ten  silver
                   coins  and loses one.  Does she not light
                   a  lamp,  sweep  the  house  and   search
                   carefully  until  she finds it?  And when
                   she finds it, she calls her  friends  and
                   neighbors  together  and  says,  `Rejoice
                   with me; I have found my lost coin.'   In
                   the  same  way,  I  tell  you,  there  is
                   rejoicing in the presence of  the  angels
                   of  God  over  one  sinner  who repents."
                   (Luke    15:8-10,    New    International

              The  lost  silver  coin  mentioned  here  is  the  Greek
         drachma, which was equal to the  Roman  denarius,  and  worth
         about  20  cents today.  However, it had the purchasing power
         of about 20 dollars today, equal to about a day's wages then.
         [WESLEYAN  BIBLE COMMENTARY (Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press),
         LUKE,  by Ralph Earle, pp. 293-4].

              The coin  was  probably  worth more than its face value,
         because it was the custom of a married woman to wear 10 coins
         on  a  silver  chain  as a headdress, similar to our use of a
         wedding ring.  These coins could not be taken away  from  her
         to pay a debt. (Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, LUKE,  pp.
         209 ff.).

              The typical Palestinian peasant's house of  Jesus'  time
         was  very dark, lit only by one circular 18 inch window.  The
         floor was packed dirt,  covered  by  dry  reeds  and  rushes.
         (Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, LUKE,  pp. 209 ff.).  So,
         a lamp would probably be needed to search for a  small  coin,
         even in the daytime.

              The lost coin was very valuable to the lady who lost it.
         So   she   would   carefully     remove  the  dry  reeds  and
         systematically sweep the dirt floor,  looking  for  the  coin
         aided  by  the  light of an oil lamp.  She searches UNTIL she
         finds it.  After finding the precious coin,  she  would  call
         her friends  and  neighbors  to  rejoice  with  her.    Jesus
         parallels this story to the rejoicing of the angels in heaven
         when one sinner repents.

                          The Interpretation

               The symbols in the story and the reality they represent  are:

              1.  The woman                     Jesus
              2.  The lost coin                  A lost person (sinner)
              3.  The lamp                       The Word of God
              4.  Friends and Neighbors    Angels
              5.  The house                      The inhabited earth

            The  woman  searches  the house carefully UNTIL she finds her
         lost coin.  Jesus pursues the lost sinner UNTIL he finds him.
                                 Central Truth

                    GOD LOVES THE SINNER.

            When some people did not welcome Jesus, James  and  John
         asked  Jesus,  "Lord,  do  you want us to call fire down from
         heaven  to  destroy  them?"  (Luke  9:54,  New  International
         Version).  Jesus then rebuked  them.    Jesus  came  to  save
         sinners, not destroy them:

                   But God demonstrates his own love for  us
                   in  this:  While  we  were still sinners,
                   Christ died for us.    (Romans  5:8,  New
                   International Version).
          We must love the sinner as Jesus did.  We must not REACT
         to abuse, with more abuse.  We must  ACT  when  abused,  with
         love.  Jesus came to save the lost. That is our mission, too.  END.