15:8, 9 NASV) “Or what woman, if
she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp
and 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 which I had lost!’
Of all the interesting lessons in
this parable, the one that seems to be among the top for me is the lesson on
unity. The number ten represents wholeness, which means that when one part of
the ten is missing then the whole is devalued. I realize that Jesus was talking
about the joy over one lost soul being found and restored, but I think He was also
speaking about the value of unity as well.
The reason this parable is so
rich is because it shows that being alone (like the lost coin) had a direct
effect on all the other coins. In other words the greatest value of the one coin
is when it is part of the nine coins, and the greatest value of the nine coins
is when they are part of the one coin. What affects one affects all.
We see this principle played out
with Joshua and the Children of Israel. They were fighting battles and winning
all of them until one man (Achan) disobeyed God by stealing. Because of Achan’s
independent act (when he was supposed to be a part of a team), everyone else was
affected and they lost the battle at Ai. In other words Achan’s independent act
cost him, his family, and all of Israel.
There is no doubt that the lost
coin had value within itself, but it had a different kind of value when it was
with the other nine coins and that is why the woman had a party with her
friends when she found the coin.
Several years ago I was in Bulgaria
ministering on a mission trip. One day I went downtown to an open-air market
(kind of like a flea market) where folks had tables stacked with everything
I strolled through the market
stopping occasionally and looking at things. As I was about to leave the market
that day I stopped at one last table and started shifting things around on the
table when I suddenly spotted what I believed to be an old Roman coin. I was intrigued
by it so I paid two or three dollars for it. I brought it home, put it on a
shelf and forgot about it.
However, the other day I started
thinking about that Roman coin so I went and got it out of the curio cabinet and
began to wonder if it had any real value. It took me a long time searching the
web to find that exact coin. To my surprise I found it had great value.
discovering the true value of the Roman coin, Karen and I were no longer
willing to keep it in the curio cabinet. Anything that valuable needed to be
kept in the safe...which is where we put it. The thing that made the difference
as to where the coin was kept was its newly discovered value.
my coin not been separated from other coins of such value it would have never have
been discovered under some worthless items on a flea market table in Bulgaria. It
would have been protected in someone’s coin collection, because it was minted
in 100 BC.
this is why the woman in our text put forth such effort in searching for her
lost coin, because its true value could never have been appreciated while it
us to abide in and enjoy our value by being in unity with those in our family,
our friends, our team and all the people You put in our lives. You gave us the
model of a true team as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.