The FISHERS Magazine (Issue 226)
The Lost Coin
This very simple story of the lost coin, as told by our Lord Jesus Christ, is perhaps one of the most familiar of all passages of Scripture, being one that most people can remember from their childhood.
Here is a lady in an Ancient Near East home and she has lost a silver coin. The intrinsic value of the coin may not have been very much as it may have been one among ten coins that she had been saving. Nevertheless, it was of great worth to the woman and its loss was something that affected her deeply. The coin, although valued, was lost. It was out of circulation, good for nothing, lying in the dust and the straw on the floor of her humble home.
Because of its value to her, what did she do? She went about turning the house upside down in order to find the one that was lost. It had obviously taken her some time, because in the meantime, she told her friends and neighbours about the loss. When she eventually found it, such was her relief and joy that she called those friends and neighbours together to rejoice with her.
Although it is a lovely story in and of itself, this is a parable which speaks of a loss, a search, a recovery, and a spirit of rejoicing. There are a number of lessons that we can learn from this particular story.
The Meaning of Being Lost
Like the woman’s lost coin, a sinner is lost and has no purpose in life. Every person born into this world is lost, no matter what the situation or the circumstances into which they might have been born. The Bible tells us that our whole being is affected by sin; and this means that both moral and immoral persons are equally lost.
The one thing about this coin was that it had no consciousness of its being lost. It just lay on the floor in the midst of the dust, knowing nothing about its being lost. Neither do thousands of men and women in this world; they are unconscious of their state and condition of being lost, to their eternal peril.
It is this that makes the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God so necessary and so vital. Men and women all around us are spiritually dead in trespasses and sin, unaware that to be unconverted is to be condemned already. To be a sinner is to be dead while you live, and to live in danger of Hell fire. However, there is an utter indifference in the hearts of these sinful men and women. They are unconcerned about the things of God and the things that make for their peace. They have no sense of purpose or of belonging. They are hopelessly lost. They may engage in many activities, enjoy many pleasures, and achieve many ambitions, but they are still lost.
If you are not a true and genuine Christian, then like the coin, you are lost and lying in darkness. Whether you realise it or not, you are in a terrible predicament and this requires the Gospel.
Lost in Darkness
What does it mean to be in darkness? A person who is not “born again” is in spiritual darkness and he just cannot see the light of the truth in Christ. Why can’t man see this? The reason is that sin has intruded and man has lost his purpose and usefulness to God and to himself. Sin has “marred” God’s image in man. Man was God’s possession in the beginning but he is now a possession that has been spoiled and lost.
The coin could not bring itself back into circulation and must be brought back by another hand. Some outside power needs to break in, and into that situation the Lord Jesus comes. In the story, that which is lost is valued. To the Lord of love and of glory, the souls of sinners are of great value. Those sinners themselves may not place any value upon their souls but He does. It is because of their value that He seeks and searches after them. “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul and what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mk 8:36-37).
You may be the kind of person who sets no value upon yourself but God has set a value upon you, so much so that He came into the world in the person of His Son in order to seek and to save people like you. The story of the lost coin is showing clearly the great love of God toward men and women. People such as you!
The Search for the Lost
Our Lord has a people whom the Father has given him from all eternity - it is them that He has died to save, and it is for them that the Holy Spirit searches. He knows His own, and He is searching diligently and deliberately for His own possession. There is something else about this search and it was not just a personal search, but also an urgent search. The woman’s main concern and God’s concern is to seek and to find that which is lost.
Do you not think that this is an amazing thing that our Lord is saying? That the Lord of Glory, who is sufficient in Himself and needs nothing and no-one to add to His glory, His main concern at this moment is to seek and to save that which is lost!
The Joyful Find
This is true of the Church also. There is great joy in the Church when a sinner is converted, especially when we have known them and prayed for them for many years. How some of us would rejoice if our loved ones were to be saved! How much we would rejoice if we had been praying, weeping and yearning for them? When we have done all within our power to bring them to Christ, when we have almost given up in despair, then we hear of them being saved; oh, what joy!
The Gospel Light
Another reason that men and women do not believe the Gospel is because by nature they have neither the will nor the power to believe in, or come to, Christ. There are none so blind as those who will not see, and deliberate unbelief is extremely serious.
Then there is another factor in this. There is a Satanic blindness, created by the powers of darkness. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor 4:4).
So, unbelief which is the response of man to God’s Word, is brought together with this blinding work of Satan to produce in men a total darkness. It is a darkness where men are unable to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Satan trembles lest the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ should dawn upon them.
This blinding spiritual problem is very real, and is the basic problem of people who see no beauty in Jesus and nor glory in the Gospel. It is a timely reminder to us that the world we live in and the human nature we live with, are not spiritually neutral. The world, the flesh and the devil are all combined to keep people in darkness.
Jesus, the Gospel Light
The new Creation took a great leap forward when God came in the flesh of Jesus of Nazareth. He was that Light that lights every man coming into the world, and the light of the knowledge of the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world, and just like the searching woman, is constantly shining into the darkness, searching for the lost.
So, in the preaching of Jesus Christ and in the manifesting of Him out of His Word, God speaks a new word. He says to the darkness of the blindness of the human heart: “Let there be light.” Then suddenly, the dawn breaks with power and glory! This is what happens when the work of the Holy Spirit of God brings new creation in a man’s soul. It is like a dawn breaking, and what was darkness is now radiant with the beauty of the glory of the Lord Jesus. We then find them saying what the blind man in John 9 said, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, but now I see!” They begin to understand the Gospel and the things of God which they never saw before. They have been turned from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God.
This is God’s exclusive work, and when men and women are turned to Jesus Christ, then the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in His face shines into them and dispels the darkness. That light is greater than the gross darkness, and it has the power to drive that darkness away.
So, in the new creation, the darkness is dispelled by Jesus, the Word who was made flesh and who was made sin on our behalf. The Cross is the place where God broods on the darkness to bring forth the light. That is why the preaching of the Cross is of paramount importance.