Summary: inductive sermon on the parable of the lost coin.

Nicolas Campbell


Luke 15:8-10

June 3, 2012


A. Story about Candaice finding my stuff I lose.

B. I’m constantly losing my stuff. I’m telling you if I didn’t have Candice to find something of mine I would probably lose my left arm. In our story today we are faced with someone who has also lost something.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NIV)


I. People are lost, but looking for the way.

A. If we look at the beginning of this chapter we see in v. 1-2 that Jesus is actually sitting with tax collectors and sinners. Here the tax collectors are grouped with sinners because of their industry. They were severely hated by the Jewish nation, but something intrigued them about Jesus. They followed him just to hear his teaching and to learn about the truth of God. On the other hand we again see the experts of religious law. They were grumbling and complaining about how this great Rabbi was actually conversing with and even eating with these “sinners.” So Jesus starts gives two parables and we are looking at the 2nd this morning. The first thing that we are told is that there is a woman who had 10 silver coins. Each one of them was worth a days wage, and she loses one of them. There are a couple different theories as to what the coins are. Some people think that the ten coins are part of a headdress, which was passed through her family, and one of the coins fell off. Some people think this is her life savings and she simply misplaced one of the coins. Honestly it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is the coin is very valuable to the woman and it’s gone.

B. This February there was a woman in Delray Beach, FL who was shopping at a local mall. She sat in her car and removed her wedding rings to put some lotion on her hands. She put the rings in her lap and when getting out of the car her rings fell onto the ground and were lost. These rings were not just any rings but were given to her by her mother in law who had recently passed away. These rings also were not just family heirlooms, but had been hidden away through the Holocaust and survived through 4 different concentration camps. They were priceless. Sure they could have easily been replaced with a new set of wedding rings, but it wouldn’t be the same. The woman probably had other rings with their own value each with their own history, but the rings meant so much to her. There was a news channel that picked up the story and the woman pleaded to have her rings returned. Turns out a woman found one of the rings and sent a message to the owner. The rings were found and returned.

C. The same idea carries over from the lost coin. The woman lost a coin that was incredibly valuable. Sure there were others like it, but the one was still so precious. We are told that the woman in the parable is actually God and the coin is a lost person, or a sinner. Sometimes people get lost. But God still sees lost people as valuable. We each have our own history, which can never be replaced with someone else.

II. God searches for those who are lost.

A. Look back at v. 8. “Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?” Here we can see that the woman stops what ever she is doing and searches diligently for what has been lost. She has to light a lamp, which tells us that she is searching in the dark and grabs a broom to sweep the floor looking for the coin. She labors endlessly and carefully probably down on her hands and knees searching through the dirt and in each crack and crevice hoping that she will touch the coolness of the silver. She does everything she can to find the lost coin.

B. One of my favorite books is Ernest Hemingway’s 1952 novel “The Old Man and the Sea.” I must have read this book a dozen times. It’s the story of an old Cuban fisherman, Santiago, who has gone 84 days without catching a fish. Each and every day he gets in his skiff and sails out into the hot tropical sun and shows no result at the end of the day. On the 85th day the old man ventures out into much deeper waters. He lets his lines out, and at noon hooks the fish of a lifetime. It’s a marlin and it’s a whopper! It’s the biggest the old man has ever seen and it begins to tow the boat into deeper waters. Now this fish wasn’t hooked on a fishing pole, but completely by hand. The old man knows that if he ties the cord off to the boat that it would snap, so he wraps it around his hands and holds on. His back and shoulders are in agony. Whenever the fish dashes for freedom the cord cuts deep into Santiagos hands, but he still holds on. Three days the old man continues sleep deprived, dehydrated, and delirious finally the old man lands his catch.

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