18 Lost Coin

UNIT #: 

All of heaven rejoices when we repent

Bible Passage: 

Luke 15:8-10

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 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.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Teacher’s Preparation: 

The word “parable” in Greek literally means, “to set beside,” as in the English word “comparison” or “similitude.” In the Jewish culture, things were explained not in terms of statistics or definitions as they are in English-speaking cultures. In the Jewish culture of biblical times, things were explained in word pictures.

Matthew 13:35

This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”

Main Ideas: 

Context of the Parable

In Luke 15, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law are expressing their concern over Jesus on his friendship with tax collectors and sinners. "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them." (Luke 15:2). As an explanation to why he eats with sinners, Jesus tells the parable of the Lost Sheep, this parable of the Lost Coin and subsequently the parable of Lost Son (Prodigal son).

In these parables the lost sheep or coin metaphorically symbolizes a sinner ie a person lost in sin (sinner).

Importance of lost coin, sheep or son

In all the 3 parables, the loss represents incomplete set. The shepherd lost just a sheep among the 100 he owned, yet he was concerned and put all his effort to retrieve it. A coin is just a physical object, yet without the 10th coin, the lady doesn’t feel the completeness. Regardless of how insignificant the loss seems to us, it is viewed as an important loss in the eyes of God. He wants all His creation to be sustained and complete. That is why all 3 parables ends with the celebration of the owner with their friends and neighbors and recalls rejoicing in heaven over the sinner who repents.

Duty of a Christian

God created human as a social being and hence our duty is to be in communion with fellow human.  God has gifted the community and you have a responsibility to maintain it. As good evangelist, you should be concerned for a lost (sinner) neighbor or a friend and seriously seek their return.

John 3:20-21 says “Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God”. And John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Hence our responsibility lies in spreading the gospel among the sinners and show them the light towards Jesus.

Jesus deliberately chooses the words like “light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it” that indicates it was not a causal glance around the house. The woman did extra effort in using tools and meticulously (detailed) searched for the coin. This signifies her duty to retain control on what was given by God. Hence all Christians have the duty to seek sinners with extra effort.

Lesson Review: 

Fill in the blanks

  1. _____________   told the parable of lost coin
  2. Lost coin or sheep symbolically represents a  ________________
  3. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who ___________.”

Answer the Questions

  1. What is the common theme in the parables of lost coin, sheep or son?
  2. Explain your duty as a Christian towards a sinner
    1. Put extra effort to seek sinners in the community
    2. Offer companionship & understand their background
    3. Covey the good news to them that Jesus is our savior who has served punishment for all our sins. To benefit from the punishment of Jesus has served, all we have to do is to repent and ask for pardon in our prayers.
    4. Take them around your friends and neighbors to rejoice in the repentance
    5. Intercessory prayer for the return to God’s way
Values for Life: 

Luke 5:31, 32 Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” A righteous man will be well accepted in the society, however a sinner will most likely be isolated and it will be hard for him to be accepted. Your willingness to seek them and offering companionship maybe all it takes to return sinner back to God. Jesus’s companionship at a dinner was enough for Zacchaeus to repent and offer to pay back the money unfairly collected from poor citizen.

When you successfully accomplish your duty as a Christian, rejoicing and celebration is guaranteed in the presence of the angels of God.

Memory Verse: 

Luke 5:32

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

32 I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Closing Prayer: 

Dear heavenly Father, Thank you for the practical lessons that you are teaching us through the parables in the Bible.  Thank you for giving us a good community to live in. Please strengthen us and give us willingness to seek for lost sinners and provide companionship to show them the light and return to God’s way. We understand that you are concerned on loss of even the least important person and there will be rejoicing in the heavens on the repentance of each sinner. Amen

scope and sequence