As we saw yesterday, Luke 15 is a record of three parables focusing on essentially the same theme. Some have suggested that Jesus used three separate stories to highlight the ministry of the three persons of the Godhead in salvation: the shepherd representing Jesus (vv. 1–7), the woman representing the Spirit (vv. 8–10), and the father in representing God the Father (vv. 11–32). It may be a bit speculative to say that with any certainty, but it is an intriguing thought.
As an incidental point, there was something unique in Jesus’ ministry, highlighted particularly in Luke’s Gospel, in the way he allowed women to play a prominent role. Luke frequently presents stories in sets, with a man as the primary character in one and a woman as a primary character in the other. For example, Luke 7:1–17 records two miracles—the first performed for a man and the second for a woman. Luke records two parables about God answering prayer—the first (11:5–13) about a man and the second (18:1–8) about a woman. He told the story of Jonah alongside the story of the Queen of Sheba (11:29–32) and healed both a woman (13:10–17) and a man (14:1–6) on the Sabbath. Again, he told two parables about the kingdom of God: one with a man as the primary character (13:18–19) and the other with a woman as the primary character (13:20–21). Speaking of his coming, he told of men working in the fields and women grinding out the grain (17:34–36). This appears to be a central motif in Luke’s Gospel and, in this respect, Jesus was very much unlike the other religious teachers of his day.
But, incidentals aside, the parable here highlights a particular truth about those whom Jesus came to save. To him, they are exceedingly precious. To the woman, the silver coin that she lost was valuable and must be found at all costs. We should not speculate too much, as some have done, about the extent of the woman’s wealth, whether she was a widow, and other questions that the text does not answer. This is a parable, after all, and we don’t want to push the details too far. The point is simply that the coin was so precious to her that did all she could to locate it. And, when she found it, there was cause for great celebration, which mirrors the celebration in God’s throne room at the salvation of one lost sinner.
Have you ever felt worthless? Have you ever considered how often you have failed God and wondered how he could possibly love you? Have you ever felt forgotten, neglected, and wondered whether live is worth living? If you have wrestled with these feelings, allow the truth of this parable to encourage you.
As a Christian, you are exceedingly precious to God. Your redemption was secured at the cost of Christ’s life and, according to this text, there was great rejoicing in heaven the day you repented and turned to Christ. Do not allow your doubts due to your personal failures to rob you of this great truth, so clearly taught in Scripture. As Mark Altrogge has written, “We can’t fathom God’s incredible love for us. In and of ourselves, there would be nothing to attract him, nothing for him to delight in. But he has made us new creations in Christ, created in the likeness of Jesus, in whom is all his delight.”
As you reflect on the parable of the lost coin today, allow the truth of Scripture to help you reflect on the fact that, as one purchased by the blood of Christ, you are exceedingly precious to God. Allow this truth to spur you on to love him and live for him since he loved you and died for you.