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                        "THE PARABLES OF JESUS"

                       The Lost Coin (Lk 15:8-10)

INTRODUCTION

1. Our previous lesson introduced the context in which this parable is
   found...
   a. The tax collectors and sinners had drawn near to hear Jesus - Lk
      15:1
   b. The Pharisees and scribes were murmuring because Jesus would 
      receive them and eat with them - Lk 15:2
   c. In response, Jesus told three parables as recorded in Luke 15...
      1) "The Lost Sheep" - Lk 15:3-7
      2) "The Lost Coin" - Lk 15:8-10
      3) "The Prodigal Son" - Lk 15:11-32

3. As noted in the previous lesson...
   a. These three parables have the same central theme:  "The Father's
      yearning love for the lost" (Hendriksen)
   b. They also reveal what our own attitude should be toward the lost

[In this lesson, we shall consider the parable of "The Lost Coin" (Lk
15:8-10).  Let's begin by reading the parable and then taking a closer
look...]

I. THE PARABLE ANALYZED

   A. AS TOLD BY JESUS...
      1. Any woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin...
         a. Will light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently
            until she finds it
         b. Upon finding it will call her friends and neighbors 
            together to rejoice with her
      2. In similar fashion, there is joy in the presence of the angels
         of God over one sinner who repents - Lk 15:8-10

   B. SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION...
      1. The silver coin, like the Roman denarius, was equivalent to a
         day's wage
      2. The home of the poorer classes was usually small, with dirt
         floors and few windows
      3. Finding a lost coin in a dark and dusty place would not be 
         easy

   C. WHAT THE PARABLE MEANS...
      1. William Hendriksen, in his commentary, relates some 
         interesting "explanations"
         a. That the woman symbolizes the Holy Spirit, supposedly 
            because...
            1) The Son was symbolized in the parable of "Lost Sheep"
            2) The Father would be featured in the parable of "The
               Prodigal Son"
            -- Therefore having the woman represent the Spirit would
               complete the trinity
         b. That the lamp represents the gospel
         c. That the broom signifies the Law
      2. But Hendriksen discounts such imaginative allegorizing (as I 
         do too)
         a. As with most parables, there is only one point, just one
            central lesson
         b. And Jesus' own explanation makes it clear what the parable
            is designed to teach
      3. This parable reinforces the main point in the previous 
         parable...
         a. That there will be "more joy in heaven" over one sinner who
            repents - Lk 15:7
         b. Here, the expression is "more joy in the presence of the
            angels of God" - Lk 15:10
            1) Does this mean to say that angels rejoice when a sinner
               repents?
               a) They certainly take a deep interest in our salvation
                  - 1Pe 1:10-12; He 1:13-14; Mt 18:10
               b) They have been, and will be, involved in carrying out
                  God's plan of salvation - Lk 2:10-14; Mt 25:31; 2 Th
                  1:7-9
            2) But note that Jesus said "in the presence of the
               angels"...
               a) The joy described is in their presence, not in them
                  per se
               b) Who is in their presence?  God!
               c) He Who dwells in the presence of angles will greatly
                  rejoice! - cf. Ezek 18:23,32; 33:11; Zeph 3:17; 2 Pe
                  3:9

[Again, this parable's theme is similar to the others in this chapter: 
"The Father's yearning love for the lost". Such love is evident by the
joy "in heaven" and "in the presence of angels" when just one sinner
repents.

Now for a few thoughts concerning...]

II. THE PARABLE APPLIED

   A. WHAT OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE TOWARD THE LOST...
      1. There are four different attitudes one can assume toward the
         lost:
         a. Hate them (self-righteous individuals may have this 
            attitude)
         b. Regard them with indifference (some Christians have this
            attitude)
         c. Welcome them when they come to you (the Pharisees and 
            scribes considered Jesus guilty of this one)
         d. Seek them
      2. From the first two parables and the setting which precipitated
         their telling, we learn...
         a. Jesus not only "welcomed" them (option "c")
         b. He "sought" them! (option "d") - e.g., Lk 19:10 (cf. v.5);
            Jn 10:16
      -- So our attitude should be one of both welcoming and seeking 
         those who are lost!

   B. WHAT OUR ATTITUDE SHOULD BE TOWARD THE PENITENT...
      1. Both parables ("The Lost Sheep" and "The Lost Coin") describe
         the heavenly joy when a sinner repents - Lk 15:7,10
      2. What is our attitude when a sinner repents?
         a. Are we indifferent? ("Ho hum, so what...")
         b. Are we skeptical? ("I wonder if they really repented")
         c. Are we judgmental? ("Shame on them for sinning in the 
            first place!")
         d. Or are we full of joy? ("That's wonderful!  Praise be to
            God!")
         -- When a soul repents, it should be an occasion of great joy!
            - e.g., 2Co 7:4-9

CONCLUSION

1. The parable of "The Lost Coin" should serve to remind us that...
   a. God not only welcomes sinners, He goes out of His way to save
      them!
   b. God rejoices when sinners repent

2. It is important that we posses these same attitudes toward the
   lost...
   a. First, and foremost, because we are to imitate our Father and our
      Savior - Ep 5:1-2
   b. Secondly, Jesus felt it important enough to tell two parables 
      that are virtually identical
      1) Perhaps for sake of emphasis
      2) Perhaps one to strike home to the men ("The Lost Sheep"), and
         the other to drive the point home to the women ("The Lost
         Coin")
   c. But also, because Jesus went on to tell another parable that will
      make the point even stronger!
      -- That parable is "The Prodigal Son", which we hope to consider
         in our next study.

But if you are in need of repentance, why not answer the call of the 
Father who is seeking you today?  He calls you through the gospel (2 Th
2:14), and He is calling you into His kingdom and glory (1Th 2:12).

There will be joy in heaven, and in our own hearts as well!
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