Summary: This sermon looks at the Parable of the Lost Coin

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The Lost Coin

Luke 15:8-10

When my son Luke was a toddler, my wife and I took him to the beach in Gulf Shores, AL. We had a wonderful time but finally check out day arrived. I was in the kitchen packing up all of the refrigerator items when I heard my wife cry out, “I can’t find my wedding ring?” Well, that started a search of the condo. We retraced her steps. We look all over the bathroom where she said she had set it down. We checked the bedside table and on the floor all around it and still it was not in sight. We then systematically began to take the condo apart, first the bedroom with moving the dresser and dismantling the bed, then the living room with removing every cushion on the coach and chairs and then lifting them up and searching under and behind them. We unpacked all of our clothes only to find nothing. As we searched without any progress, we became more and more frantic. Half an hour passed, then an hour, an hour and a half and at the end of the second hour, we started to talk about making an insurance claim. Regret and sorrow began to fill us. But then my wife realized there was one place we had not looked. We had brought all of Luke’s toys in a cardboard box. As we prepared to leave, we told him to put all of his toys back in the box. Giovanna and I ran over to it and turned it upside down, dumping everything out and in the bottom of the box, we saw it. We screamed out in joy and breathed the largest sigh of relief of our lives. Apparently, Luke had grabbed the ring off the bathroom counter all in an effort to help pack as we got ready to leave.

Have you been there, losing something of great value and worth? As Jesus continues responding to the Pharisees’ charge that He welcomes and eats with sinners and tax collectors, he does so with three parables. The Greek word for "welcomes" literally means to "receive as a friend." This was Jesus’ attitude toward those who were lost in sin, to befriend them and love them back to God, vastly different from the Pharisees’ view of such people. In Jesus’ day, to eat with someone was more than sharing a meal together. It was a convenantal experience, meaning that once you shared a meal with someone, you were bound to them in relationship. If they were ever in need of help, you had to come to their assistance. So the Pharisees were careful with who they broke bread with. They didn’t want to become unclean. But Jesus? He ate with anyone and everyone, including the worst of the worst in the Pharisees eyes, tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees sought to live pure and holy lives by following the letter of the Law. By Jesus’ time, they had become more critical of others who didn’t live like them or believe like them. They assumed an “us vs. them” mentality, calling those who disagreed with them “outsiders,” now including Jesus. But this is why Jesus came and for whom Jesus came. From the Pharisee’s perspective, Jesus was not seeking to live a pure and holy life because of who he associated with.

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