luke 15 parable

The Parable of 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? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because 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.”

The Bible study will focus on these three Bible verses from the parable of the lost coin. The simplicity of the true value is stated so plainly, however the reason for the lost condition, sometimes we miss. 

There are two verses that set the context for this parable along with the other two parables the lost sheep and the prodigal son. Luke 15:1-2, now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near Jesus to listen to Him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to complain, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

The Lost Coin Parable Explained

I love spending time with my two grandsons, like many grandparents do, we get into routines with the things that we like to do together, it started with Ezekiel when he was just 2 years old we started to do puzzles together, first with the simple 24 piece puzzles until he got good at it, then we would get several of them until he got good with them all.  Finally we would move to more difficult ones with more pieces in the puzzles we would select for him.

I remember that Ezekiel did what Julian his younger brother does now, they would always ask for help for the first several times, and I would with patience teach them the fundamentals for puzzle building, starting with the edges, or with a prominent part of the puzzle picture. 

The further along we got, their interest would start to pick up and grow, especially the closer we got to the finish. It was at this point I would tease them and say, “oh this is too hard for you, maybe we should just give up.” At which point, they would become very frantic to finish the puzzle, and work all that much harder to finish it until that last piece was placed and they would shout “I did it”!  At this point I would tell them I knew they could do it if they would just keep at it. 

This is the kind of thing that makes being a grandparent so awesome, just hearing those words “I did it”! The woman who lost the coin saw the value of it, and this value caused action on her part. Her success warranted celebration with those she cared about. 

Am I the Lost Coin?

Different than the lost son, or the lost sheep, the coin is an inanimate object and did nothing to get itself into the lost condition in the first place. The son you could say got himself into his own predicament, and even the sheep although not so bright, still one step at a time was so distracted it had wandered until it found itself in its lost condition

But the lost coin, it resonates with those who somehow are in circumstances beyond their control, that they feel makes their condition lost. To them, it seems to have always been that way, and it is just seems their lot in life for things to never go their way. 

Because we are born into a sinful world, all who are born are not starting out the same, some are born in deep poverty or abusive family situations or with health problems from birth, while others have all that they could want with a stable family life and full health. These completely different circumstances cause people to have very different views of their standing before God. Sometimes thinking they are of less value to God because of the circumstances they find themselves in. 

But Jesus took issue with this kind of thinking, and had no problems spending time with people like this because that is not what separates them from God, but rather it is their own sin, like every other human that separates themselves from God.

A Lost Coin Has Value

Did you ever notice that all the puzzle pieces have the same value until they are the last piece, then their value goes way up? Every time you make the same puzzle it is finished in a different way, and the way it is finished determines the value of that last piece. 

We discovered this with Ezekiel, at first innocently when a puzzle piece was somehow misplaced, it ended up being that last piece. This would call for an all hands on deck until that piece was found. All the couches would be looked under, all toy boxes emptied and picked up, and each room was gone over with a fine tooth comb as we were searching for that last piece. Then it happens, the last piece is found, it is placed in the void, and a celebration ensues with the shout “I DID IT”.  

To a two year old, this puzzle piece is like the lost coin to the woman, it has great value. And just like the coins which are all identical, the puzzle piece which at the beginning of building the puzzle has equal value, the one that was lost, suddenly becomes very important, and much effort and care go into finding it again. 

Further, just like the puzzle that cannot be completed is a reminder that it is missing something.  God’s kingdom is not what God wants it to be if any of God’s children are left out. This is the message God is trying to covey with the parable of the lost coin — that you are of great value to God, and he has gone to extraordinary lengths to see that you have the opportunity to return to Him. 

He loves you greatly despite what conditions surround you, and wants to have a relationship with you that starts here on earth and continues into all eternity. That is why the angels in heaven all rejoice over one sinner who repents, because you would warrant this kind of celebration.

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