Summary: In Luke 15, Luke gives a series of three parables in response to the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus received unbelieving sinners and even ate with them. Today, our focus is on the second of these stories – a lost coin that had value and
Opening Statement: How many of you chronically lose or misplace things? You never notice that something is lost until you need it and it’s always in the last place you look. Have you ever noticed the intensity with which you will search for an inanimate object when you need it? Your wallet, your purse, your keys, a document, an address, a phone number, a pair of socks or earrings. When you need it, you need it now and if time is running out, finding that thing is the highest priority in your life at that moment.
Believe it or not, God knows what all of this feels like on a much grander scale. God is searching for something—but not because he can’t remember where he left it. He knows where it is. He’s searching for you. But the only way that He can find you and bring you home is for you to recognize that you need found, that you are lost and need direction.
Background: In Luke 15, Luke gives a series of three parables in response to the criticism of the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus received unbelieving sinners and even ate with them. Evidently, His love and vulnerability attracted lost people from all classes and lifestyles. These were people who had no regard for the Torah or for religious traditions. Jesus had made it clear that He came to save people like this, not self-righteous people (Luke 5:27-32; 14:21-24). Seeing the many needy people around Him who were lost and recognizing the criticism coming from the religious establishment who were also lost, Jesus told three “Parables of Lostness.” He talked about lost sheep who needed a shepherd; about a lost coin that had value and needed to be put into circulation; about lost sons who needed to be in fellowship with the Father.
Transition: Today, our focus is on the second of these stories – a lost coin that had value and needed to be put into circulation again.
Title: Lost…At Home
Recitation: Luke 15:8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it? 15:9 Then when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 15:10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
Key Word: There are three very revealing MOVEMENTS in this little story.
The first movement is the circumstance of the lost coin.
Observation: There are two possible reasons that have been suggested as to why this coin had such great value to this woman.
First, it may have been a matter of sheer necessity. It represented about a day’s wage. Without this drachma, her family may have gone hungry. Besides, who would want to work all day, only to find that they had lost their money when they got home?
Second, the lost coin was far more valuable to the owner from a sentimental standpoint than it actually was in value and purchasing power. We learn from those who have studied the customs of ancient days that this could have been a part of her wedding day attire. When a woman married she took ten silver coins and sewed them into a headdress, which she wore on her wedding day. The modern day equivalent might be a woman’s wedding band with studded diamonds. The sentimental value would have been far greater.
If you came into our house, you would see several pictures of our children on the walls and in albums — pictures worth only a few cents in terms of their physical value, but priceless to me because they preserve the expressions and the memories and the stages of life at which my children will never be again. The paper and frame are only worth a few cents, but the image is priceless.
Imagine having a wedding band with 10 studded diamonds. And at the end of the day, you take it off before going to bed and you notice that one of the ten is missing. The comfort of having the 9 does very little for you. You won’t be able to sleep that night because one diamond is missing and the set is now incomplete without it.
So whatever the underlying reasons are for the coins incredible value, it was lost.
Amplification: Something of great financial and emotional value was lost. But do not miss the fact that it was lost in a most unusual place; it was lost at home. The story of the lost sheep tells us that the sheep had wandered away from the safety of home and the fold and the shepherd had to leave the ninety and nine to go out and find it. However, the value of this illustration is that the coin was lost at home where you would not expect to find lost things. This coin did not wander off. It was in the place of apparent safety. Nevertheless it was lost -- probably through carelessness or inattentiveness of the owner. Regardless of the reasons, the woman is unaware that the coin is lost until suddenly she discovers that it is gone. When she realizes that the coin is missing she is stirred to a flurry of activity to recover it because it is of extreme value to her.