In the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 15) Jesus tells three parables that are often interpreted as being one parable in three movements; the lost son, the lost coin and the lost sheep. There are 2 sons and one goes astray. The father’s love yearns for his return and with perfect love and forgiveness welcomes him home. The mistress of the house has 10 coins. It was only the lost one that caused such distress that she went to no ends to find it. The shepherd had 100 sheep. Again, only one needed to be lost to arouse the shepherd to leave the 99 and search far and wide until he brings the lost sheep home. God always deals with us one at a time. Someone once said that when Jesus was on the cross “you were on his mind.” These parables increasingly emphasize the importance of you and me, one person, in God’s total scheme of things. God loves each and every one of us. No matter how many, God loves you!

Some would suggest that these three parables are pure depictions of the Godhead’s love for His children. The parable of the lost son speaks to us of God the Father and His great love for his wayward children. The parable of the lost coin tells us about the Holy Spirit’s love for us as well. This is what the woman who lost the coin does according to Jesus, “She will light a lamp and sweep the house. She will search carefully until she finds the coin.” And when she finds it, she will call her friends and neighbors together. She will say, ‘Be joyful with me. I have found my lost coin.’” Jesus then adds, “I tell you, it is the same in heaven. There is joy in heaven over one sinner who turns away from sin” (Luke 15:8-11). The focus of this passage is on God’s love for “ONE SINNER” who turns from sin. In his closing exhortation to the Romans, Paul appeals to them on the basis of “our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit” (Romans 15:30).

Bill MacDonald, in the Believer’s Bible Commentary says, “The woman in this story may represent the Holy Spirit, seeking the lost with the lamp of the Word of God.” I recall that in Psalm 119 we read that God’s word “is a light to my path and a lamp for my feet.” To Bill this parable is situated in the context of the vast rejection of Jesus by the masses of His own people. God no longer deals with Nations, tribes or even families. he will now only deal with individuals. The Nation, the Religious leaders and their religious system rejected Jesus as did the multitudes, but there were the individuals that responded. Bill writes, “The nine silver coins speak of the unrepentant, whereas the one lost coin suggests the man who is willing to confess that he is out of touch with God.” It is the lost one that she searches for. When she finds it, like the Father in the case of the prodigal son, she throws a great party to celebrate. When Jesus applies the parable he makes it clear that the lost coin represents a lost sinner. MacDonald concludes his comments, “The lost coin which she had found brought her more true pleasure than the nine which had never been lost. So it is with God. The sinner who humbles himself and confesses his lost condition brings joy to the heart of God. He obtains no such joy from those who never feel their need for repentance.” The healthy don’t need a physician!