Into the Light
Luke put the three 'lost' parables together in this chapter (lost sheep, coin and son), but they all have one meaning. People who are away from fellowship with God, because of their sin and rebellion, are lost: they do not know where they are and cannot work out how to get anywhere (John 3:19). They need help! In the parable of the coin, the inanimate silver object is incapable of helping itself.
The silver drachma was a day’s wages. Some scholars comment that such coins were also included in a bridal headdress, a thing of beauty with sentimental and monetary value. Detached from the bride, who would have worn it with nine other coins, the silver drachma had lost its glory and its purpose; the bridal symbol was incomplete (Revelation 21:2). When the woman realised that she was missing something so precious, she lit a lamp and searched for the missing coin.
Light reveals what is lost. Jesus was saying that He was determined to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). His method is to use the light of truth which shines into even the darkest place where people try to hide away from God (John 3:19-20). The joy of finding the coin is real and a cause for heavenly celebration. Of course, a coin cannot repent; but a person can and must! That is the 'other side of the coin' to the relentless passion of the resolute searcher. There is no place in heaven for accidental or unwilling converts; but the repentant person is not only safely found but has a personal desire to be safe for ever.
Every person is precious to Jesus, which was why He was willing to sacrifice Himself for them (Romans 5:8). Most unbelievers have no idea of the intensity of God’s passion for them (1 John 3:1). He searches for those lost in darkness, so that He might bring them into the light of His love, to be safe for ever (Ezekiel 34:11-12). But it is true. Our evangelism is not just our good idea; it is God's initiative. All we are doing is to tell others what the Lord has done, urging them to respond to His love (Acts 19:8). Heaven's response is undiluted joy because for each 'found' and repentant sinner there is a whole eternity of joyful fellowship ahead. However, most people resist the light and hide from it. The task of the church (every person who is a part of the eternal Bride of Christ) is to switch the light of truth on - letting people see how lost they are. Our message is that Jesus loves them and longs to welcome back all those who repent of their darkness and want to live in His light.
© Dr Paul Adams