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Jesus had a way of bringing a story to life. His parables were so rich and picturesque. An eager listener was always given more than enough to satisfy and challenge his inner being.
Luke relays a short story shared by Jesus in chapter 15, verses 8-10. The story is about a lost coin:
Luke 15:8-10 King James Version (KJV)
8 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?
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Envision this story through the eyes of the woman in this parable:
- The coin was valuable to her. It may not have seemed worth much to anyone else, but she obviously thought it had worth because if she were to lose it, she would go through great efforts to find it.
- Jesus spoke of her lighting a candle, sweeping the house, and searching with focus and determination until she would find it. There is no indication that she would have discontinued her search at any time before the coin was found.
- And once the coin was found, she would announce it with joy to her friends and neighbors.
This is a beautiful parable about the redemption of a lost soul.
The woman shows us the heart of our Saviour. The coin represents a lost soul.
Maybe the coin was filthy. Maybe it was dinged up and dull. Aren’t these accurate descriptions of our own souls when we were lost? Living in a world that cares nothing about preserving our character or worth, our unsaved souls had been at the mercy of a harsh taskmaster that took away our glow.
But the heart of the Savior sees our souls with compassion. Just as the woman in the parable lit a candle and swept her house, the Light of the world shone bright, searching in low places for His lost treasure. Jesus wasn’t looking for the shiniest pieces of silver. A light might not have been necessary if the coin could shine without help. Christians and sinners alike can take comfort in knowing that the coin in the story was lost in the house. Even Christians lose their way sometimes, but the Light of His word continues to reach for us, to pick us up and reunite us with His other precious coins.
Have we ever given much thought to what a heavenly celebration would be like? With the Spirit of God in us on earth, and the joy that heaven experiences over a repentant soul, no other celebration compares. Jesus endured the ugliness that mankind threw at Him, all the way to the unimaginable death He suffered to save lost souls. The King of Glory owed us nothing yet paid everything so that we would have the opportunity to be saved. Jesus uses the example of the woman finding her coin as a time of great celebration, where she calls her friends and neighbors together, compelling them to rejoice with her. Maybe He is trying to emphasize what a big deal this was and how we should feel when He finds a lost soul.
The religious men in Jesus’ day had no need for the Savior. They looked at Jesus with critical eyes when He ate with the publicans and sinners. They couldn’t relate to the Savior who wanted the spiritually sick to be well. As Jesus reminded them, those who are whole don’t need a physician (Luke 5:31-32). It’s a sad side note that religious men throughout history and even today haven’t realized that they too are sick.
Not only does this beautiful story show us the heart of our Savior, it also exemplifies the attitude and spirit that we should have.
The souls of men are precious to God. It isn’t His will that any be lost. God doesn’t want us to forget that we too were once lost. Between the sins of our hearts and the sins of our flesh, we were without hope and desperately needed a Savior. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 reminds us that “such were some of you”. Jesus showed compassion to the lost when He walked on earth. His heart wanted them to know Him. His physical body is no longer here, but His Spirit now walks the earth in the souls of men. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). These attributes of God need to be visible in us. His Spirit is beautiful, and when it shines through us, it becomes a welcoming invitation and a hope to others who want to fill the void in their lives that the sins of the flesh cannot satisfy.
God wants His light to shine through us. He has never asked us to witness of Him through carnal methods. Bribing and begging won’t truly convert a soul. Letting the Spirit lead us with wisdom and love will win far more victories.
The Lord shows us that being born again is a time of rejoicing and celebration. The Bible sometimes refers to new Christians as babes. In the natural, when a baby takes its first steps, family and friends erupt with excitement, sharing in the celebration with the child. When we have the Spirit of God is in us, we should feel the excitement when a newly born-again child of God takes his first spiritual steps. The redemption of lost souls was the purpose of the cross. It is the celebration of celebrations when a soul is born again.
And so, the story of the lost coin is a story of love, compassion, redemption and rejoicing. How encouraging it is to know that we have a Savior who has made the ultimate sacrifice to find us.