The Parable of the Lost Coin

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The Lost Silver Piece

Luke 15:8-10

Illustration: So Near Home but LOST!

A telegram was put into my hand announcing the wreck of the ship, "Royal Charter," in Moelfra Bay, on the coast of Wales, and asking me to go and break the news of her husband's death by drowning to the wife of the first officer. The ship had gone almost round the globe. She had been to Australia, and had been telegraphed as arrived at Queenstown on the previous night, so that she was anxiously expected that day in the Mersey. But during the early morning a furious gale which I might rather call a terrible hurricane--sprang up, and she was driven to destruction on that fearful shore, with a loss of over four hundred lives. As I entered the house of my parishioner, I was met by her little boy, who came dancing to me, and shouted, "Papa's coming! Papa's coming!" when I went into the parlor, I found the table spread in expectation of the arrival of him who would never cross the threshold again. I can not tell how I performed my mission; but after I had told the heavy news, the woman seemed almost stricken into marble. Her grief was too deep for tears; and I can never forget how, as she seized my hand, the first words that came gasping out were these, "So near home, and yet lost!"

Illustration: Almost Persuaded-King Agrippa

Acts 26:26-28 (KJV) 

For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner. [27] King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest. [28] Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

*So close to be found, yet LOST!

We should share the Shepherd’s concern and the woman’s burden and the father’s anguish for the lost.

To bring each part of the text under inspection we shall notice man in three conditions — lost, sought, found.

I. Man is Lost like the Coin Was

1) The treasure was lost in the dust.

A. She had to sweep for it, which proves that it had fallen into a dusty place, fallen to the earth, where it might be hidden and concealed amid rubbish and dirt.

Application: Every man of Adam born is as a piece of silver lost, fallen, dishonored, and some are buried amid foulness and dust.

B. You may lose your coin in the carpet, or on the floor, or in dirt, or in the mud.

Regardless were you lose it, it remains lost.

Men may be educated or uneducated.

Men may be religious or never attend church.

Men may come from a wicked home or a good home.

But all men are equally lost without Christ.

Romans 3:23 

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

C. *Man is lost through the act of another- “Adam”

Romans 5:12-21

2) The coin was altogether ignorant of its being lost.

The silver coin was not a living thing, and therefore had no consciousness of its being lost or sought after.

Illustration: Cows that were unaware of danger of fire

Real TV-cows did not realize that the fire would destroy them.

They were not consciousness that by going into the fames they would perish.

Proverbs 4:19

The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

3) The coin retained the image of the emperor or king.

*Fallen Mankind still retains the image of God.

Example: Pharisees tempted Jesus by asking about taxes

Matthew 22:20-21

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?

They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Genesis 9:6 (KJV) 

Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

4) The coin was lost but still claimed.

Observe that the woman called the money, my piece which was lost.”

When she lost its possession she did not lose her right to it; it did not become somebody else’s when it slipped out of her hand and fell upon the floor.

Application: The Elect of God belong to Christ before time began

Out of God’s sovereign and electing love He will bring them to salvation.

John 6:37

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 17:6

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

John 17:9

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

5) The coin was also valued.

The one piece of money to the woman was a tenth part of all she had, and it was very valuable in her esteem.

To the Lord of love a lost soul is very precious.

Application: We are to value souls

As the woman valued the coin so the church is to value the souls of men.

6) The piece of money was lost, but it was not lost hopelessly.

The woman had hopes of recovering it, and therefore she did not despair, but set to work at once.

It is a dreadful thing to think of those souls, which are lost hopelessly.

Illustration: Jan. 1871-Fishing boat found 4 dead men on lifeboat

The horrible site made the crew of the ship “Veto” saddened at the great calamity.

The 4 dead sailors were without hope to be saved.

It was to late for them.

*But it is not to late for you!

Application: There is hope for the lost today!

Paul told the church at Colossae “ not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven..”

(Colossians 1:23)

I. Man is Lost like the Coin Was

II. Man is Sought like the Coin Was

1) It was sought by its owner personally.

Notice, she who lost the money lit a candle and swept the house, and sought diligently till she found it.

The church is presented in scripture as a woman.

Ephesians 5:23-27 (KJV) 

    For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. [24] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. [25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; [26] That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, [27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Application: the woman represents the Holy Spirit working through the Church

1 Corinthians 3:9 

For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

She, the church, cannot delegate her work to anybody.

The woman did not pay a servant to sweep the house, but she swept it herself.

2) This seeking became a matter of very important concern with the woman.

There were many things she could have been doing, as the lady of the house.


*Preparing food

*Drawing water

*Preparing a fire

*Talking to neighbors

But she puts all those things aside to seek out the lost coin.

Application: So with the church of God, her chief concern should be to seek the perishing sons of men.

Luke 19:10 

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

1 Timothy 1:15 

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

3) The woman used the most fit and proper means to accomplish her work.

First, she lit a candle.

There were not windows in most houses therefore it was necessary to light a candle in order to find the coin.

With out the candle no coin would be found.

Application: Without the Holy Spirit souls will NOT be saved

John 16:8-9 

And when he (the Holy Spirit) is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  Of sin, because they believe not on me;

Acts 1:8 (KJV) 

    But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The power of the Holy Spirit involves courage, boldness, confidence, insight, ability, and authority.

The disciples would need all these gifts to fulfill their mission.

If you believe in Jesus Christ, you can experience the power of the Holy Spirit in your life.

4) This woman sought for her piece of silver continuously — “till she found it.”

No doubt that piece of silver did discourage the woman who sought it but she didn’t quit.

Application: We cannot quit this work of evangelism

Galatians 6:9 

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

II. Man can be Found like the Coin Was

1) The woman herself found the piece of money.

It did not turn up by accident, nor did some neighbor step in and find it.

The Spirit of God himself finds sinners, and the church of God herself as a rule is the instrument of their recovery.

The great commission was given to the church as the God ordained institution to evangelize the world.

It was not given to the YMCA or any other man made institution.

Jesus commanded to his church:

“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

(Mark 16:15)

2) She calls her friends and neighbors to share her joy.

Luke 15:10 (KJV) 

Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Joy in heaven-NOT because of Super bowl or World Series

Acts 3:19 

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, …


3) The piece of silver could do nothing to save itself.

Illustration: Mohammed Ali-Working for Salvation

Though suffering from the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, Mohammed Ali still can joke about his illness. "It's a blessing," he says. "I always liked to chase the girls. Parkinson's stops all that. Now I might have a chance to go to heaven."

The former boxing champ sees his disease as creating another destiny for him as well. Ali's travels now take him to charity benefits for organizations such as UNICEF, the Franciscan Sisters of the Poor, and Best Buddies, an organization for the mentally retarded. Wherever he is, he plunges in among the sick and the poor, offering himself up as vehicle for worldwide healing.

 "With everything I do," he says, "I ask myself, Will God accept this? One day you'll wake up and it will be Judgment Day, so you need to do good deeds. I love going to hospitals. I love sick people. I don't worry about disease."

Reader's Digest, quoted from William Plummer in People Weekly, August, 1997, p. 83

Application: Men are saved by Grace Alone!

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 4:3-5

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.



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