How to Find a Lost Coin

In Luke 15 we find the “Lost and Found” chapter. Here in this discourse we see Jesus respond to some of His critics by telling them about three things that get lost; a sheep, a silver coin and a son. All three of them are pursued, all are found and each restoration is celebrated.They all represent God’s heart for those that have wondered from His love. But it is interesting to think about who does the pursuing in each case. It is quite clear that in the case of the lost sheep that this would refer to Jesus our Shepherd. The account of the prodigal son certainly reflects the heart of our Father God. But who does the woman represent in the parable of the lost silver coin?

She could well represent the church. The church is the bride of Christ and Christ certainly has commissioned us to go and search for the “lost”.  For Jesus, our Shepherd is not the only seeker of those missing the Father’s love, but His followers are also. John 17:18 says, “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” The church reaches out to those who are “lost” just as the Lord did, and “she” is the woman who is seeking the lost piece of silver.

If a church is searching for those missing it tells us something very important; the “lost ones” are a priority. It is unlikely that the woman in the story would take the time and expense to look for a copper penny, but one of ten precious silver coins demands relentless action.

Gold coins were not in circulation in Jesus day so our Lord is making the point that this lost item is of great value to the woman. The coin has a double analogy: first that every human soul is intrinsically precious to our God; and secondly that mankind is distinguished from everything else in creation by bearing the divine image. As so, the Father welcomes us all since we all bear His image, regardless of how tarnished we may have become.

Just as a coin does not lose its value by being lost; so, the immortal spirit of a person continues to be precious in the sight of God even when separated from Him. 

Just as a coin does not lose its value by being lost; so, the immortal spirit of a person continues to be precious in the sight of God even when separated from Him.The action of the woman must be noted. For here lies some instruction on what the church is called to do. First, she lights a lamp. The lamp is representative of God’s Word. “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet.”(Psalm 119:105). Even as Christ is the light of the world, so the church is the light of the world. As Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount; “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp-stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Secondly, she takes a broom and sweeps the house. What does the sweeping represent? This represent the intercessory prayers of the church. The woman in the parable could not find the coin, even though she has a lamp in her hand, until she first swept back the darkness that is hiding the coin. Likewise, the prayers of the church sweep back the dark spiritual forces at work keeping people in bondage. Then when the truth is shone their eyes are opened to behold the wonderful love of the Father. The church is called to have a sweeper (prayer) in one hand and a lamp (the Word) in the other. In order for us to fulfill the vision of “each one reach one”, we will need to be bold to pray and share God’s Word with the precious lives of those caught in darkness.