Luke 15: 8-10
Luke 15: 1-7
Luke 15: 1-7 Of course, I have one more quick point to reveal in the parable of the Lost Sheep. Note, v. 7, that the ‘repentance’ that the found sheep is associated with in the conclusion, with ‘rejoicing in heaven over that one’, is akin to ‘being found’. The sheep does nothing in the entire repentance-restoration process. It merely gets lost. The shepherd does everything else. He notices the vacancy, he searches and finds, he rescues, he restores, he returns that one to community, and the heavens rejoice over the one who repents.
Luke 15: 8-10. In much the same way The Lost Coin is taught. In the current culture of Israel, at the time of Christ, just as sheep/shepherds are considered lower caste, so are women. In fact when men are gathered together talking, one must apologize if he mentions the word ‘woman.’ Women are homebound, except to go to the community well, and perhaps shopping, they never speak in the presence of men. But Jesus does not conform to that ideology. Yet for Jesus to mention a woman in a parable is to cause immense anxiety amongst the gathered crowd.
So He says: “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Coinage is rare in village life in Israel. Each community is self supporting, food is grown, sheep are raised, tradesmen are available, cloth is woven, and bartering is the commodity. In the bedouin life, the nomads, women wear their dowry in the form of coins hanging on their veil. In village life, women wear theirs’ as a necklace. In each case the number ten speaks of perfection, and to lose one coin reveals imperfection, therefore its loss is much more than the value of the coin.
So the woman sweeps every nook and cranny of her home, she lights a lamp even in the daytime, to be able to see under tables, and in shadows, frantically searching for that coin. When she finds it, she once more feels complete, emotionally drained, yet now ecstatic, she runs to her friends and neighbors rejoicing and invites them to rejoice with her.
“In the same way, I tell you, there is Joy in the presence of the angels of God, over one sinner who repents.”
In both parables we must note that the searcher does all the work. This is a picture of the effort of Jesus our Savior. He is the shepherd who seeks the lost sheep, and the woman who seeks the lost coin. We, in these parables are the lost. Jesus is urgent about finding us, and when He does, who are we to resist His rescue?
Being found is repentance, and then the angels rejoice, glorifying God.
February 6, 2023 at 11:53 am
Karl, I’ve been out a few days getting Carol & Nathan moved into their new place in St. Charles, MO. Regarding the sheep, Jesus knows his (cp. Jn. 10:1-21), none will be left behind when the decision is made to head for greener pastures.. There is something to be said for finding what is assumed lost. I know when I hit a golf ball crooked into the woods and find it, the feeling is one of joyful felicity, as it is so unexpected. Craig