The Lost Coin: 2016 Gospel of Luke #60
This is an exposition of Luke 15:8-10. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, May 28, 2017.
If the Gospels were a western the Scribes and Pharisees would be wearing black hats. They are the bad guys. We know when they appear on the sacred page we are to “boo” and “hiss.” In my head, when I’m reading, I hear that music that plays when the villain appears on stage. We know as we’ve worked our way through the first 14 chapters of Luke that the religious establishment is determined to get rid of Jesus. Our Lord is invited to a dinner party in the home of a Pharisee – not as an honored guest – but as the main course! It was a set up. They invited a terminally ill man as a prop. “Can he resist healing this man on a Sabbath?” They were betting not and thus they would have grounds to accuse him. They were wrong about so many things. They were wrong about God’s requirements for salvation. They taught a “works righteousness.” Clean up your life, live a godly life, make yourself holy and acceptable and then maybe God will love you. They knew about the law and judgment but knew nothing about grace. They were wrong about the identity of Jesus. To them he was a rabble-rousing troublemaker rather than Messiah. He was an ignorant backwoods traveling preacher rather than Immanuel, God with us. But they were right about one thing. They said of him, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” The word “receive” means to welcome, to accept or to embrace. In the culture of first century Judea to eat with someone is to fellowship with them. It quite literally is understood as sharing life with someone. This is what outraged the Pharisees – this man who is supposed to be a teacher of righteousness is sharing life with sinners. All good Pharisees understood that you are to shun sinners. The righteous have nothing to do with the unrighteous.
Sometimes you will see the word sinner in Luke 15:2 with quotation marks around it = “sinners” as if they are, so called, sinners. That’s unfortunate because the word means sinner. He welcomes, sinners, reprobates, liars, cheats, lawbreakers, swindlers and thieves. That’s the gospel, that’s the good news. If you understand that you are a sinner that is the best possible news! Jesus is the friend of sinners (Mt 11:19; Luke 7:34). It is the best possible news because it means there is hope. Further, this notion of his receiving and eating with means he shares his life with sinners. That is the essence of salvation. God the Son sharing his life with us.
The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We have all fallen into sin. Doing those things we should have never done and not doing those things we should have done. Because we are sinners we rightfully deserve God’s wrath but the gospel declares the Lord Jesus stands ready to receive us. He welcomes us. Such a thought caused the Pharisees to “grumble.” They expressed their contempt and condemnation of such an idea. That prompted the Lord Jesus to tell them a parable.
Text: Luke 15:8-10
Luke 15:4-32 is one parable with three parts.
The point of the parable is to reveal the heart of God in salvation.
The first story is the story of the lost sheep revealing our God’s loving persistence.
Now he tells us about a lost coin.
As we work our way through this brief story about a lost coin we discover that…
Thesis: The biblical gospel revels in a compassionate, diligent, rejoicing God who graciously seeks the lost and dying.
There is no question, the point of emphasis throughout the parable is the attitude and actions of God toward the lost. What is remarkable about the parable is the revelation of God as a personal being who is intimately involved in relationship with us. The God of the Bible is not some cold, indifferent force out there somewhere but rather a person who seeks, who restores and who rejoices when lost ones are found.
I want us to note 3 things in this story.
- The biblical gospel reveals our God’s compassionate heart for the lost. (15:8a)
- The biblical gospel makes plain our God’s determined diligence in seeking the lost. (15:8b)
- The biblical gospel focuses on Heaven’s exuberant joy over the salvation of the lost. (15:9-10)
If you are not yet a believer – the angels are waiting to celebrate. What joy there will be in heaven when you come to Christ.
The biblical gospel revels in a compassionate, diligent, rejoicing God who graciously seeks the lost and dying.
Our God receives sinners and eats with them. That’s the best possible news!