THE LOST COIN of Luke 15:8-10
"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!' 10 Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.'
For many years I've wondered about this scripture and questioned its meaning.
For instance, why did Jesus say a woman lost a coin in this story?
Why didn't He say, "When someone (or anyone) loses a piece of silver, don't they light a candle & seek. etc."?
And, why would you call in your friends and neighbors to celebrate over finding a coin?
Finally, what does this story have to do with verse 10, with angels rejoicing over a repentant sinner?
First of all, the coin in the parable was very important to the woman.
The background: In the Jewish culture of that day when a man was going to marry he would negotiate a price with the father of the Bride. When the price was settled the young man would give the woman 10 coins to symbolize a covenant of Promise for marriage.
In the meantime, he would return to his father's home in order to build a house for him and his bride-to-be. The house, or bridal chamber, would have to meet the approval of the bridegroom's father. When he thought it was good enough he would tell the son to go get his bride.
The bridal chamber had to be stocked with enough provisions to last 7 days because that's how long the bride and groom would remain in the chamber.
The 10 coins symbolized the woman's relationship with the Bridegroom and so they were very important to her. Every day when the bride would go out she would put on a veil in which she had sewn the 10 coins. The veil was an indication to the public that she had been bought with a price and was waiting to be married. Each coin represented part of the covenant that the man made with the woman. The veil was significant because it separated her from the world and told them she was given to someone for marriage.
She would wear the veil until the day that the bridegroom came to take her away to the house he had prepared. Sometimes the bride had a long wait because it could take up to a year or more for the groom to build the house to the satisfaction of his father.
During this time of waiting the bride was consecrated or set apart. She was bought with a price and the 10 coins sewn into her veil were evidence of it.
In the meantime, she and her bridesmaids would wait with lanterns filled with oil. It was the custom for the groom to come suddenly to steal away the bride. Since he could come in the middle of the night, the bridesmaids had to have lanterns ready to accompany the groom and bride back to the bridal chamber.
If, and when, she lost one of the coins, she also lost part of her relationship because the Bridegroom may consider her unfaithful or defiled if she didn't have all ten coins when he returned for her.
In the same way the Church, the Bride of Christ, has been given a Promise of Marriage. It's the new Covenant spoken of by Jeremiah 31:31-33.
"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
We were given something much more valuable than a coin.
Turn to Ephesians 1:13-14. This says we were sealed with a Spirit of Promise: "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest (or down payment) of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
The Bride of Christ also has a veil. It's a veil of sanctification. Which is separation from the world.
2 Corinthians 6:16-18 (NKJV)
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
1 Cor. 6:20 says we were bought with a price.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”
We are waiting for our Bridegroom to return to catch us up and take us to our new home.
John 14:2-3 tells us that Jesus has gone to prepare us for that new home.
However, sometimes the Bride of Christ, like the woman in the parable, may have lost something while waiting for His return.
Some have lost their salvation. Some have given up on waiting for His return.
In Matthew 24:12, Jesus, speaking about the end-times said, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
Some have lost the truth of the Word and have accepted doctrine contrary to the Gospel.
2 Tim. 4:3, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears"
Some have lost their Fruit. (Gal. 5:22, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control"). They have become a vessel of dishonor instead of a vessel of honor.
Some have lost their First Love. Rev. 2:4, "Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Some have lost the Joy of their Salvation, thereby becoming less effective in their witness.
John 14:28, “You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I.”
Phil 4:4 (KJV), "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice".
1 Pet. 4:12-13 (KJV), 'Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy"
Some have lost the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Promise. They have become defiled.
1 Cor. 3:16-17 (KJV), "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."
Some have lost the flavor of their "salt".
Matthew 5:13 (KJV), "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men"
Those who have "lost their salt" no longer seek the Lord in prayer. They no longer witness to the lost. They no longer go to church or fellowship with other Christians.
Some have lost their "light" and are afraid of what people may think if they witness or talk to others about the Lord.
Matthew 5:14-16, "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
Some have lost their"fire" for the Word of God, for Jesus and have become lukewarm.
Rev. 3:16 (KJV), 'So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth"
Some have lost their 'sight" of the true meaning of being a Christian and have pursued riches through the ministry of the Gospel.
Rev. 3:17-18 (KJV), "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."
As we see the things happening on earth that point to the return of our Lord, we need to take inventory.
Have we, the Bride of Christ, lost a "coin"?
Have we lost our relationship with the Bridegroom because of that loss?
Just as the woman lit a candle, and swept the house, and desperately looked for the coin, so must the Bride of Christ today carefully search to find that which has been lost.
Ephesians 5:25-27 (NKJV) "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish."
Rev. 2:5, "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent."
Revelation 19:5-9 (KJV)
“And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. 7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
Are we ready for our Bridegroom to come? There are no prophecies left to be fulfilled for the Rapture to happen. It could happen before you take your next breath.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!