02 October 2016
Reading: Zechariah 13-14; Psalm 147; Luke 15
1 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! 3 So Jesus told them this story… “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” (Luke 15:1-3, 8-10 NLT)
Jesus tells three stories about something lost and found: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Verse three makes it clear that the judgmental, devaluing attitude of the Pharisees and religion scholars against Jesus’ friends, some of whom were “notorious sinners,” triggered the telling of these stories.
The story of the lost coin really spoke to me this morning. The woman searched diligently for the lost coin because it was valuable. It wasn’t just that she felt affection for it. It had actual, intrinsic value. It would have been valuable to anyone who had it. Its value prompted her search when it was lost and her rejoicing when it was found.
The lost items in the three stories represent lost people – lost individuals. The point in the lost coin story is that every coin has value. It wasn’t that nine of the coins had value, but this one didn’t have value, so, “Oh well, I guess it’s gone. But it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t really worth anything!” The point of application is that every person has value. Those who are in the Master’s hand have value. Those who are not in the Master’s hand also have equal value. Not just value for what they can do or produce, but value simply for who they are.
You and I have value. We’re valuable to God. We’re valuable because we’re us. We’re valuable because God loves us and this makes us precious!
Father, Please help me to value every person I see today, not because of their appearance, behavior, or performance, but for who they are—loved by you and valued by you. And help me to remember that you value me, too! Amen.