“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search thoroughly until she finds it? Then when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” —Luke 15:8–10
Consider for a moment losing something extremely valuable to you. Would you not search high and low until finding it—giving yourself no rest and having no peace of mind until it was discovered? Recounting every step you took when you knew it was in your possession? Perhaps recalling to mind with fondness and joy the past when everything was in its “proper place”? Constantly reminding yourself of where you could have possibly placed this cherished item?
This is the illustration Jesus gives of a Father full of compassion and love toward His wayward child. It is a glorious picture of our heavenly “Daddy” and His angels welcoming a wayward child. Our Father is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger, and abounding in great love. He does not treat us as our sins deserve but desires for us to be in constant fellowship and relationship with Him. When we are in sin, that relationship is broken.
Scripture confirms God’s great love for us:
“In a far-off land the LORD will manifest himself to them. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” —Jeremiah 31:3
“I led them with leather cords, with leather ropes; I lifted the yoke from their neck, and gently fed them.” —Hosea 11:4
“They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt. But you are a God of forgiveness, merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and unfailing in your loyal love. You did not abandon them.” —Nehemiah 9:17
Matthew Henry explains this parable in this way:
“That which is lost is a piece of silver. The soul is silver, of intrinsic worth and value; not base metal, as iron or lead, but silver. It is a silver coin. It is stamped with God’s portrait and superscription. This silver was lost in the dirt; a soul plunged in the world is like a piece of money in the dirt; anyone would say, ‘It is a thousand pities that it should lie there.’”
“God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is.” —Anonymous
“I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior.” —John Newton
“I love the LORD because he heard my plea for mercy, and listened to me. As long as I live, I will call to him when I need help.” —Psalm 116:1–2
“We forget that God is a specialist; He is well able to work our failures into His plans.” —Erwin Lutzer