Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And 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.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Luke 15:8-10 is a continuation of the passage from yesterday. Instead of comparing people to sheep, Jesus here compares them to coins. I think it’s interesting how He retells this story three times in different ways, because each retelling is bound to connect to a different type of listener.
The first one is about a shepherd. It was a common enough profession in Jesus’ day, but definitely the bottom of the heap. Then here, we have a woman who cleans her house from top to bottom to find that coin that she lost. Next week we’ll take a look at the longest version of the parable, which would connect most with the wealthy landowners.
I find myself thinking of the Proverbs 31 woman when I read this. It seems to be understood that part of a woman’s task at the time was managing the household, including the expenses of the household. So for the woman in this parable to loose a tenth of the money she has to run her home is pretty significant. Depending on the income bracket, it would mean having to go without something, possibly even risking starvation. But she does find the coin, and she rejoices. And she invites her neighbors to rejoice also.
I don’t know about you, but I probably wouldn’t call up my friends and neighbors to brag about finding something insignificant. I probably wouldn’t post on Facebook that my misplaced penny finally turned up. This coin meant a great deal to her, and was valuable for her livelihood. She may have even been seen coming outside, shaking out rugs in her search. Or she might have gone around the neighborhood, asking friends if they had noticed her drop something earlier in the day. Her joyful celebration indicates the importance of the coin.
I like knowing that in the eyes of God, I’m that valuable. I once was lost, but I am now celebrated over. My value in His eyes is very big indeed, and that is truly humbling.