Chapter 3 – The lost coin!
Luke 15:8 “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? 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. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
It’s a horrible feeling when you realise that you have misplaced your wallet or mobile phone. I automatically go into deep intercessory prayer – Lord, help!
A lost coin
However, this is the point of the parable of the lost coin as told in Luke 15. God hasn’t lost something as trivial as a mobile phone. No, he’s lost the whole human race and is determined to get us back! In the parable of the lost sheep Jesus is the good shepherd, and in this parable of the lost coin, the woman represents the Holy Spirit.
Why is one coin so important when you have nine left? Scholars have suggested that it is possible that this coin was actually part of a wedding dowry that the woman had been wearing around her neck. In fact, the drachma coin – which is the correct translation – was a rare coin not in circulation and certainly would not have normally been in the possession of a peasant woman.
What does the coin represent?
What does this coin represent? I believe that it represents our true identity, created in the image of God, with all the value that that infers stamped on our lives. Yes, the coin has rolled somewhere into a dark corner – maybe amongst dirt and grime. Nevertheless, our value hasn’t diminished just because we are lost. The lost coin is worth just as much as any of the other coins still strung around the woman’s neck.
What does the woman do?
What does the woman do? Does she stand around moping over her loss? No, she goes into action. First, she lights a lamp. Next, out comes the dust pan and broom and the whole house gets a complete spring clean as she searches high and low for the lost coin.
He shines into the darkness
We can learn a lot from this. There is no chance that the lost coin will be found in the dark so she lights a lamp. As lost people, that is exactly our condition: we are ‘in the dark.’ I mean, have you ever been in a cave when someone turns off the torch. It’s suddenly pitch black, so dark that you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. The Bible says that we were in that kind of darkness – a darkness that had power over us and had somehow even characterised us!
Colossians 1:13 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
Ephesians 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”
Translated from darkness!
The devil’s occult or hidden realm, therefore, is one of darkness and once we are ‘found by the Lord’ we are translated from darkness into the kingdom of light! Every shadow has to flee; every dark corner is revealed in our lives as the Holy Spirit goes to work!
2 Peter 1:19 “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:”
2 Corinthians 4:6 “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
She sweeps the house
So, the woman gets the broom and starts to sweep and tidy the house. This is exactly the strategy of the Holy Spirit in our lives as he goes around with his divine vacuum cleaner getting rid of the remains of last night’s pizza and dirty dishes. ‘Tidying up’ is essentially separating the common from the precious, or holy.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Then the mop is out, cleaning floors and making the place spick and span. Wow! This house is starting to look really good!
Ephesians 5:26 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word”
Of course, this is all in aid of finding the lost coin – and that’s exactly why holiness in our lives is good.
God loves a party
Therefore, God is not a party-pooper, a perfectionist only interested in a clean house. No, this is all for a reason – and indeed later on when the woman finds the coin, the added bonus is that she can invite her neighbours into a nice clean house made ready for a celebration and party!
Of course, while she is diligently cleaning the house she is looking out for the glint of silver. She searches everywhere. Likewise, the Holy Spirit is brilliant at searching for that which is lost:
1 Corinthians 2:10 “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
Imagine the joy on the woman’s face when at last she finds the coin in a dark corner, maybe covered in dust or worse. Joyfully, she cleans it up and it’s immediately restored back to its original beauty.
Real life example – Bartimeus
For a moment, though, let’s jump to a real-life example in the life of Jesus. In Luke 18 we have the wonderful story of Bartimeus the blind beggar. In Luke 18 we are not told his name but we are told in the parallel passage in Mark 10. His name means ‘son of Timeus’ and Timeus means ‘highly prized.’ That certainly relates to what we were saying about the preciousness of the lost coin.
Luke 18 35 Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging.
36 And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant.
37 So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
38 And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him,
41 saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?”He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.”
42 Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.”
43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.
Blind, and a beggar
However, even though his name means ‘highly prized’, here is a man who is not living up to his name. He has three problems: he’s blind; he’s a beggar; and he’s a citizen of Jericho – the ‘city of the curse’. Surely, that’s just like us? Even though we are ‘highly prized’ by God, we have been blinded and sold a lie as to our identity and self-worth by the god of this world – the devil. We are lost in our own dark world: the city of the curse.
2 Corinthians 4:4 “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
The unfortunate consequence of this blindness is that he is reduced to begging for scraps. He’s at the bottom of the food chain because he cannot work. This is quite a contrast to another citizen of Jericho Jesus encounters later on: Zacchaeus. Although very rich, Zacchaeus is likewise spiritually blind. (Incidentally, his name means ‘pure’ which again, even though people didn’t see him this way, Jesus affirms as his true value!)
A revelation of Jesus!
What happens in the blind man’s man’s heart, though, is a revelation as to who Jesus is, to Jesus’ worth as the Son of David – a King! Indeed, light has shone into his heart and no rebuke from those around him is going to shut him up. This lost sheep is going to bleat its head off at top volume until the Good Shepherd responds!
Again, this is an instance of: “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved! “ Acts 2:21. That’s simply what faith is. It’s recognising our inability, our weakness, blindness and helplessness; this realization prompts us to call upon God to help us. Indeed, it’s precious faith that Jesus is searching for and to this man he says an interesting thing: “Your faith has made you well.” What is God looking for? He’s looking for faith in the hearts of men:
Luke 18:8 “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
Faith, therefore, is the currency of heaven. It’s extremely precious and valuable.
1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:”
He receives his miracle
Therefore, by exercising faith he receives this miracle of sight. His eyes are now open; he’s no longer in the dark. Found! Immediately, the work of repentance and renewal begins in his heart as he begins to discard his old lifestyle! Straightaway, he discards his old garment (Mark 10) and follows Jesus in the way, loudly praising God!
Like the woman who celebrates with her neighbour, this is the fruit of true repentance and a miracle – oh, joy!
Acts 26:18 “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”
Fully-sighted Bartemeus, therefore, is now instantly in the praise and worship team of heaven, part of the royal priesthood!
1 Peter 2:9 “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:”
Chapter 1 – Lost
Chapter 2 – Lost
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