The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin

A recent novel by Madeleine L’Engle is entitled “A Severed Wasp.” If you’re addressing young people or some other audience with strong stomachs, the title, which comes from one of George Orwell’s essays, offers a graphic image of human lostness. Orwell describes a was … More



We find three parables in this chapter that reveal the love and concern Jesus has for sinful men and women (vv. 1-2). The Pharisees had a knowledge of the Old Testament Law and a desire for personal purity  but they had no love for lost souls. Jesus attracted sinners while the Pharisees repelled them. In each story something is lost, the lost is found and there is great rejoicing because it is found.

  1. The lost sheep (vv. 3-7) - The sheep is innocently lost. The fact that the shepherd would leave the ninety-nine and go after the one sheep is proof that each animal was dear to him. The friends and neighbors were summoned because of the shepherd’s great joy when the sheep was found.
  2. The lost coin (vv. 8-10) - The coin is carelessly lost. It was lost at home.  People may be members of good churches and still be lost and go to hell. When she found the coin, she too called her friends and neighbors together to rejoice with her.
  3. These two parables help us understand something of what it means to be lost spiritually. Sheep belong with the flock, coins belong on the chain and lost sinners belong in fellowship with God. Perhaps we would have more joy if we shared Jesus love and concern for the lost.



I need to search for those who are lost and bring them to Christ. There are few, if any, joys that match the joy of finding the lost and bringing them to Christ.

Luke 15:1-10 (English Standard Version)

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So he told them this parable: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And 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.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

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