THE LOST COIN
Luke 15:8-10 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Jesus had just completed the parable of the lost sheep, recorded by Luke in the first verses of the subject chapter. It is also recorded by Matthew in chapter 18, verses 12, 13, and 14, and was used by Jesus to teach the importance God places on a repentant sinner and the joy that takes place in heaven. The subject parable was used by Jesus to teach a similar lesson. Notice the joy that took place when the woman found the coin she had lost. Not only did the woman rejoice, but also she invited her friends and her neighbors to come rejoice with her - a real celebration took place.
Translators and bible scholars tell us the ten coins the woman had were drachmas, each being approximately the equivalent of the Roman denarius. Each of these denominations of money had the value of about one day's wage. If this is true, the woman lost one day's wage but she still retained nine day's wages that were not lost. We have all heard stories of an engagement ring being found years after it was lost, about a purse that was found and returned by an honest cab driver, or about an old photograph being found having great sentimental value. These type stories always end in rejoicing. It is practically a universal rule that there is more joy found in recovering a lost item, having much less value, than the enjoyment experienced in the things that have not been lost, but having much more value.
It doesn't necessarily have to be money or other physical assets. Take one's health. Do you rejoice daily because you have good health? Probably not as much as you should. The joy of one having good health does not compare to the rejoicing that takes place when one, having a very serious illness or disease, is later healed and completely recovers. The individual rejoices, their family rejoices, friends and neighbors rejoice, and there is joy in the hearts of their doctors and their medical teams. Simply maintaining one's health never brings joy to this extent. As a side comment, it makes one wonder why the scribes, Pharisees, and other Jewish leaders didn't rejoice when Jesus brought healing to the blind, lame, sick, and infirmed. Instead they criticized, ridiculed, and found fault with Jesus for doing so.
In the subject parable, notice the effort of the woman to find the lost coin. In the dimness of her home, she immediately lit a candle, just as we, today, would turn on the light or get the flashlight out to find a lost coin. Unable to find the coin with a light, she began sweeping the floor, possibly in places where she could not see - in corners, behind doors, under beds, tables, or other furniture. Possibly she had a straw-covered dirt floor, as was the case with many living in that era. Sweeping would remove the straw and allow her to more easily find the coin. Looking for the coin was not a half-hearted effort. She sought it diligently and didn't quit searching until she found it. When found, she, and everyone around her had a joyous celebration.
The Lord is... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Each soul is God's creation. Each is as dear to Him as His own Son, Jesus Christ. He sincerely desires every sinner, even the lowest of sinners, to repent and turn away from their sinful ways, accept Him as their God and Creator and Jesus Christ as their Savior. He wants each person to believe His word, obey His word, be baptized into the church of His dear Son, and enjoy the hope of salvation. What joy there is in witnessing a repentant sinner that answers God's invitation, comes forward before an audience of Christian believers, confessing Jesus Christ as their Savior and submits to baptism for the remission of his or her transgressions! No doubt any one that may have been instrumental in bring this one to Christ will also be rejoicing in their heart. Their family, husband or wife, mother and father, and possibly children will rejoice. God will rejoice; Christ will rejoice; the angels in heaven will rejoice. What a celebration there will be, on earth and in heaven, when a sinner repents and is restored to Christ or becomes a newborn Christian. What a rejoicing - the lost has been found!