Vol. 19, No. 35 – September 13, 2020
b. The Parable of the Lost Coin, vs. 8-10.
Remember, Jesus told these parables to convey the idea of value. God treasures the repentance of one lost sinner because He loves everyone, both individually and specifically.
Luke 15:8, “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
“Ten silver coins,” DEKA DRACHME, δραχμή, “drachma.” It is only used in this parable by Luke three times in vs. 8-9. The DRACHME was a silver coin of the Grecian empire. The DRACHME first appeared after the conquest of Persia (332–323 B.C.) by Alexander the Great. For the first time, he standardized currency for trade and commerce, as well as language as you know, giving us the KOINE Greek, which most of the NT Bible was written in. The Alexandrian standard of weights valued the DRACHME at just over 66 grams of silver. At first it bore the inscription and image of Alexander but later was changed. Following the division of the Greek Empire into the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, the Alexandrian standard was kept by the Seleucids who were seated in Antioch. The Ptolemies of Alexandria adopted the Phoenician standard revising the drachma to weigh 56 grams. The Ptolemaic drachma was preferred currency to the Jews who met severe persecution at the hands of the Seleucids. Despite Jewish preference for the Ptolemaic drachma, the drachma struck in Antioch prevailed in circulation in Palestine because of its equal exchange value for the Roman silver denarius. The denarius was a Roman soldier’s daily wage. The Antiochan drachma is the one probably referred to in this chapter.
“Others have pointed out that the 10 coins might have been the woman’s marriage dowry, which in the ancient world was often worn as a headpiece. If this was so, the coin would have great sentimental value. At any rate, there is no question but that the woman had lost something very precious to her.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
“If she loses one coin,” EAN APOLLUMI, “lost,” DRACHME MIA, the feminine of HEIS. Different from the lost sheep, who had wandered off on its own, a coin cannot lose itself. It has to be lost by the owner. This speaks to our God and Creator who is the original owner of all souls who has lost the souls of all people due to the original sin, the fall of Adam and the woman in the Garden of Eden.
This is a Third class “if” statement, with EAN and the Subjunctive of APOLLUMI for “lost,” as we saw in the parable of the lost sheep above. This third class if, is for a hypothetical situation in this parable.
The “then” statement is the result of God losing our souls, as He “tries to,” stated with the negative “does not,” OUCHI, “find,” HEURISKO, “find, obtain, etc.,” our souls. To do so He does three things:
1) “Lights a lamp,” HAPTO, “kindle or light,’ cf. Luke 8:16; 11:33, for being lights of the world. This word also means, “to touch, cling to or adhere to.” So we see the interpersonal contact in this process. “Lamp,” is the Noun LUCHNOS. It is also used in Luke 8:16; 11:33-36.
2) “Sweeps the house,” The Verb SAROO with the Noun OIKIA. SAROO, σαρόω is only used here and Luke 11:25; Mat 12:44. The latter two are in parallel to the story of Jesus exercising of demons to free the soul. This sweeping of the house is also used in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, where they would clean the house so that no leaven, (yeast), was present in the house. As you know, leaven represents sin; therefore, they were performing a process that spoke of God removing their sins for salvation.
3) “Search carefully,” is the Verb ZETEO, “search,” with the Adverb EPIMELOS, “carefully, diligently.” In early Greek literature, EPIMELOS meant to perform a service carefully. It is only used here in the NT.
Therefore, these three things are analogous to what God does to find the lost souls of every member of the human race. He first shines the light of Jesus Christ on us for salvation. He then removes evil and sin from our souls through faith in Christ. And finally, He diligently provides us with 40+ things at the moment of our salvation, so that we are sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, so that we are eternally secure and have the necessary resources to excel in the spiritual life.
Luke 15:9, “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’
Here, we see that the diligent search was successful; the lost coin was recovered. This is analogous to God’s diligently searching for every soul to come to salvation. Once we have been “found,” HEURISKO, (i.e., been saved), the rejoicing begins. This passage is identical to vs. 6, when the lost sheep was found, other than this time it’s a woman calling her friends and neighbors together to rejoice with her because she found the lost coin, rather than the sheep of vs. 6.
As we noted in vs. 6, this is analogous to God calling all humans who are already in heaven, and all the elect angels together to rejoice with Him over the lost soul that has been saved.
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The angelic celebration is seen in this passage, where in vs. 7, it was simply stated as “joy in heaven.” “In the same way,” is once again, just as in vs. 7, the Adverb HOUTOS that means, “in this manner, thus, so, just as, in this way, etc.” The thing that is the same is the rejoicing of this lady who found the lost coin with her friends and neighbors, as God, the angelic race, and believers who are already in heaven will rejoice when one sinner repents.
“Joy,” is CHARA once again, that speaks of the emotion or feeling of exultation and excitement due to great happiness or pleasure because of some thing or event. As such, God and the angelic host have great delight when an unbeliever accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“In the presence of the angels of God,” is the Preposition ENOPION, “before, in the sight or presence of, etc.,” with the Article HO and the Noun ANGELOS, ἄγγελος, and the Genitive of Possession or relationship Noun THEOS.
“God takes time to pursue every individual. When that individual repents, God takes time to celebrate, and He invites all heaven to celebrate with Him. This speaks volumes about the value of every individual in God’s sight. Heaven rejoices over every repentant sinner. Christians do too. Pharisees don’t.” (Christ-Centered Exposition).
“Over one sinner who repents,” is EPI HEIS HAMARTOLOS METANOEO, which means when an unbeliever accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior. This goes along with our study of Luke 12:8-9, where God will announce to the angelic host every believer. And at that time they will once again rejoice!
Luke 12:8, “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God.”
METANOEO means, “to repent, change one’s mind, or be converted.” We have noted this word in Luke’s Gospel in Luke 10:13; 11:32; 13:3, 5; 15:7. We will see it again in Luke 16:30; 17:3-4.
The most extensive form of repentance is a comprehensive and complete change in your thinking, attitudes, and purpose towards Jesus Christ. This is the deep-seated repentance spoken of in Mat 3:2; Acts 3:19, where a thorough change of mind is urged.
Mat 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 3:3, “And he came (John the Baptist) into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Acts 3:18-19, “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
As we have noted and see in the Scriptures, to get to the kingdom of heaven, one must first have his sins forgiven, and to have your sins forgiven you must believe in the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, the Lord, as the One who would pay for your sins. As we now know, Jesus Christ paid for our sins at the Cross.
When compared to METAMELOMAI, used 5 times, METANOEO, used over 30 times, is much more prevalent, especially when referring to repentance linked to salvation. METAMELOMAI signifies having a feeling, care, concern or regret, as it expresses the emotional aspect of repentance. In Mat 27:3, Judas Iscariot repented only in the sense of regret, remorse, and not in the sense of the abandonment of sin. Therefore, he never received salvation.
METANOEO does not carry that thought of feeling. METANOEO repentance is stronger than remorse or emotional regret. It expresses the true NT idea of the spiritual change implied in a sinner’s return to God, and signifies “to have another mind,” (i.e., to change the opinion or purpose with regard to sin). It is equivalent to the OT word SHUBH, שׁוּב that means, “turn.” It represents a change of mind so effective that vs. 7, 10, assume salvation for a sinner who has “repented.” This “repentance” is required for entrance into the kingdom of heaven and is a subject of the apostolic preaching in Acts.
Unfortunately, Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate (LATIN) Bible, translated METANOEO in the Imperative as “do penance,” which has led to the false doctrines of saying prayers or doing good deeds to make up for your sins.
Yet, the reality is, the Biblical fact is that when we change our mind about Jesus Christ, recognizing that He paid for our sins upon the Cross and through Him we have salvation, we have the forgiveness of our sins, positionally, and receive entrance into the Kingdom of God. This is what John the Baptist’s father Zachariah prophesied regarding the ministry of his son in Luke 1:77, he would, “give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” Therefore, John’s “baptisms” had the meaning of “people changing their mind to receive forgiveness or pardoning of their sins,” with the result of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
John’s water baptism was not the key to a person’s salvation or new life, just as it is not today, nor any other ritual religion has created like doing penance. The key is the change of thought / heart towards the Christ, Savior, Lord, Jesus, that comes with “knowledge,” Luke 1:77, i.e., Bible Doctrine in the soul! As such, repentance connotes a decision based on mentality, not emotion. It is rational.
Repentance results in the application of faith in Jesus Christ, which is salvation adjustment to the justice of God. Mark 1:14‑15, teaches that first you change your mind about Christ and then you believe; Mat 12:41; Luke 13:2‑3, 5; 15:7, 10; Acts 17:30; 20:21 (Ascensive use of KAI means even), 26:20; Rom 2:4; Heb 12:17.
Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel”.”
Acts 20:21, Paul was, “Solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and (by means of or through) faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The idea of repentance expressed by the METANOEO is intimately associated with different aspects of spiritual transformation in the Christian way of life. It is prominent with the process in which man is to express faith, as noted in Acts 20:21 above, and for conversion as in, Acts 3:19.
Acts 3:19, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
It is also part of God’s ability to bless us, especially as remission and forgiveness of sin, Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31.
Luke 24:46-47, “And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Acts 5:31, “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Remember, emotion never saves anyone. Feeling sorry for your sins does not save you, only faith in Christ saves you. Likewise, human good deeds are dead to the plan and policy of God, Gen 2:17, especially regarding our salvation. Dead works are those produced in the cosmic system. Therefore,
- Human good is linked with arrogance and produces boasting, Eph 2:9; Rom 4:2.
- Human good is never acceptable to God, Isa 64:6.
- Human good will not save man, Eph 2:8‑9.
- The unbeliever’s human good will be judged, Rev 20:12‑15.
- The believer’s human good will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, 1 Cor 3:11‑16; Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:10.
- A change of attitude about sin is taught in Rev 2:5, 16, 22.
God’s great desire is that every member of the human race would recognize His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior, so that He would receive back their souls for all of eternity, 2 Peter 3:9, God is “Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
“Repentance is only a condition of salvation and not its meritorious ground. The motives for repentance are chiefly found in the goodness of God, in divine love, in the pleading desire to have sinners saved, in the inevitable consequences of sin, in the universal demands of the gospel, and in the hope of spiritual life and membership in the kingdom of heaven (Ezekiel 33:11; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5; John 3:16; Acts 17:30; Romans 2:4; 1 Tim. 2:4). The first four beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-6) form a heavenly ladder by which penitent souls pass from the dominion of Satan into the Kingdom of God. A consciousness of spiritual poverty dethroning pride, a sense of personal unworthiness producing grief, a willingness to surrender to God in genuine humility, and a strong spiritual desire developing into hunger and thirst, enter into the experience of one who wholly abandons sin and heartily turns to Him who grants repentance unto life.” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
And remember, when witnessing, you only give information, you do not try to get the unbeliever to “repent.” That is the function of God the Holy Spirit using the gospel information you have provided. God the Holy Spirit will encourage them to change their mind about Christ. You just get the correct information out to them.
“Psychology shows repentance to be profound, personal and all-pervasive. The intellectual element is manifest from the nature of man as an intelligent being, and from the demands of God who desires only rational service. Man must apprehend sin as unutterably heinous, the divine law as perfect and inexorable, and himself as coming short or falling below the requirements of a holy God (Job 42:5-6; Psalm 51:3; Romans 3:20).” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
That is why a change of attitude toward Bible doctrine is also the basis of reversion recovery, Rom 2:5; Rev 3:19.
For the unbeliever, Rom 2:5, “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
For the believer, Rev 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
“The most prominent element in the psychology of repentance is the voluntary, or volitional. The words employed in the Hebrew and Greek place chief emphasis on the will, the change of mind, or of purpose, because a complete and sincere turning to God involves both the apprehension of the nature of sin and the consciousness of personal guilt (Jeremiah 25:5; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 2 Cor. 7:9-10). The demand for repentance implies free will and individual responsibility. That men are called upon to repent there can be no doubt, and that God is represented as taking the initiative in repentance is equally clear. The solution of the problem belongs to the spiritual sphere. The psychical phenomena have their origin in the mysterious relations of the human and the divine personalities. There can be no external substitute for the internal change. Sackcloth for the body and remorse for the soul are not to be confused with a determined abandonment of sin and return to God. Not material sacrifice, but a spiritual change, is the inexorable demand of God in both dispensations (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Hosea 6:6).” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
c. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, vs. 11-32.
This is the third parable Jesus taught in this chapter. Here, we have the “Parable of a Lost Son” that goes beyond the simple explanation of the lost sheep and lost coin that spoke to the love and value God has for every member of the human race, where He lovingly and diligently searches out the heart of every member of the human race, so that everyone can receive salvation.
In these parables, we see the odds ever increasing and ever endearing, as in the Lost Sheep it was 1 of 100, or 1%, in the Lost Coin, it was 1 of 10, or 10%; here in the Lost Son it is 1 of 2, or 50%. The stakes have been raised to the point where sheep and coins could be written off, but a son could never be replaced. In addition, “Sheep wander off and coins roll away; they simply behave according to their natures. But sons are responsible for their choices. How does God deal with lost people?” (Swindoll’s Living Insights).
This parable is also known by several names including, The Lost Son, The Two Lost Sons, The Waiting Father, Parable of Divine Mercy, God’s Love for the Lost, and The Lost Son and the Dutiful Son.
There are three main parts to this parable:
1) The wayward son and waiting father, vs. 12-16.
2) The repentant and restored, vs. 17-24.
3) The resentful brother and insightful father, vs. 25-32.
Jesus’ main intent was to illustrate the folly of self-righteousness, just as in the previous two parables where the contrast was with those that would not search out the lost in contrast to the loving attitude of God. But in this parable, we also see a specific application to the world of sinners and the application of repentance for the reversionistic believer called the “rebound technique,” as found in 1 John 1:9.
Luke 15:11, “And He said, “A man had two sons”.”
“Two sons,” DUO HUIOS, where two is the number of division or separation in Scripture, and where man is concerned it can denote his fall, which implies opposition, enmity, and oppression. Here, we will see a son separated from His father, and a brother separated from a brother. It reminds us of the stories of Cain and Abel, Abraham and Lot, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, etc., where sin created division or enmity between the two. It speaks to man’s separation from God the Father, and from each other.
In this parable, the “man,” “ANTHROPOS,” called “father,” PATER in this parable, represents God the Father, and the son or sons are members of the human race.
Luke 15:12, “The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them.”
“Give me,” uses the Imperative of Request, where the “younger,” NEOS, of the two sons desired to receive his “share of the estate that falls to me,” MEROS, “part,” OUSIA, οὐσία that can mean, “property, wealth, or estate,” EPIBALLO that can mean, “throw over or upon, lay on, put on, falls, etc.” OUSIA is only used here and vs. 13, in Scripture. Principle: The sinful tend to demand what they think they deserve from others.
This son had a right to a portion of his father’s estate according to the Law in Deut 21:15-17. Being the younger son of two sons, he would receive a third of the father’s property. The father retained the use and benefits of his property until his death. If the property was sold, which apparently the prodigal did, vs. 13, the new owner could not take possession until the father died. Yet, for a child to demand his inheritance was an outrageous and presumptuous act of rebellion. By demanding his inheritance early, the younger son essentially divorced his father. As such, there would be no relationship, submitting to his authority, or responsibility to carry on the family legacy, and no communication with him. To put it bluntly, the younger son treated his father as if he were already dead. That is how the sinner treats God the Father. Yet, to steal a popular phrase, “God is Not Dead!”
“So he divided his wealth between them,” uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb DIAIREO, “divide or distribute,” with the Noun BIOS that can mean, “life, livelihood, possessions, etc.” Here, we see that the father agrees to the son’s highly unusual request and grants the request to the son. In that, we see the love and mercy of the father towards the rebellious son, right from the beginning of this story. Principle: God allows the sinner to choose the lifestyle of sin they desire.
DIAIREO is only used here and 1 Cor 12:11, which shows the graciousness of God the Holy Spirit in giving us our personal spiritual gift based on His personal decision.
1 Cor 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.”
In the same way, the father chose to give his younger son his portion of the inheritance. Whether this was actually money given to the son, sheep and cattle given to him, or a deed to the land and property we do not know. But, as we will see, the son was able to monetize it so that he could spend it on his desires.
The point is, the father graciously gave this sum to his son, as the son did what sinners have done throughout history, accept the blessings of the father, as do all men who live on God’s bountiful earth, while at the same time turning his back on his father, as men do when they sin and abandon the fellowship of God. Notice that the father made no attempt to stop him, just as God does not force men to remain in fellowship with Him.
And interestingly, “As a member of his father’s home, the young man starts with everything. But he’s ungrateful and impatient, so he makes himself fatherless.” (Christ-Centered Exposition)
Luke 15:13, “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.”
After this conversion, it was not long before the son took all that the father had granted him, “gathered everything together,” SUNAGO PANTA, and “went on a journey into a distant country,” APODEMEO MAKROS, “to go away or into another country,” and “long, distant, or far.” To go away from one’s land and people is to make a journey, and it is often translated in this way. APOSDEMEO is used 6 times, (the number of man), in the NT, Mat 21:33; 25:14-15; Mark 12:1; Luke 15:13; 20:9.
So, we see that it did not take long for the younger son to pack up and leave his father. Here we see that the saved person can sometimes journey back into the world of sin, i.e., Satan’s cosmic system. Notice that it was the son who moved, while the father remained. Such is the case with the life of sin. It is sinful man who draws away from God, not God from sinful man, cf. James 4:8.
James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
“And there he squandered,” which rhymes with wandered, is KAI EKEI and the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb DIASKORPIZO, διασκορπίζω that means, “scatter, disperse, waste, or winnow.” The understanding of wasting or squandering the inheritance, “his estate,” AUTOS OUSIA, is in view here.
He scattered or wasted his inheritance “with loose living,” which is the Adverb ASOTOS, “dissolutely or loosely,” which is only used here in the NT. It also has a strong connotation of immorality. With this is the Present, Active, Participle, Nominative of the Verb ZAO, “to live or living.”
ASOTOS is a cognate of the noun ASOTIA that means, “wastefulness, excess, or dissipation,” that is used in Eph 5:18, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” Therefore, we see that the younger son scattered his inheritance in sinful and worldly living, i.e., Satan’s cosmic system.
Later in vs. 30, the older brother says he was consorting with prostitutes, although we are not told whether this identification came from actual knowledge or from suppositions based upon his familiarity with his brother’s character, or that he was just a bitter brother who wanted to disparage his younger brother. In any case, Jesus left no question that the younger son wasted his money in a generally immoral manner.
Luke 15:14, “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.”
He did not leave anything for a “rainy day.” “He had spent everything,” DAPANAO PAS means he burned through his inheritance in short order. “Spent,” is the Aorist, Active, Genitive of the Verb DAPANAO, δαπανάω that means, “spend, bear expense, waste, or consume.” This word is used 5 times, (the number of grace), in the NT. It is used for both good spending, Mark 5:26; Acts 21:24; 2 Cor 12:15, and bad spending, as here and James 4:3.
James 4:3, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
After foolishly squandering all his money the real famine sets in as, “a severe famine occurred in that country. This phrase uses the Noun LIMOS that means, “famine or hunger,” and in a metaphoric sense means, “one’s mind is hungry or starved,” meaning a lack of information. It is also used as an apocalyptic sign of distress in Mat 24:7; paralleled in Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; Rev 6:8; 18:8. Here, the famine’s severity is pronounced with the Adjective, ISCHUROS, “strong, powerful, mighty, etc.” This occurred “throughout the country,” he was in, KATA HO CHORA.
LIMOS is also used in Rom 8:35, which reminds us, as does this parable, that nothing can separate us from the love of Jesus Christ, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Cf. 2 Tim 2:11-13.
As a result of the severe famine, the young son “began to be impoverished,” the Aorist, Middle, Indicative of the Verb ARCHO, “began,” with the Present, Middle, Infinitive of the Verb HUSTEREO that means, “to come too late, to lack, want, fail, or be inferior.” Here, it means lacking resources to sustain himself and being in need.
In the positive sense, Paul tells us the mystery of godliness. That is how to get along joyfully in all situations. Phil 4:12, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”
In principle, we see that sin results in hunger, and that for the sinful man or woman there is always a famine in the heart of Bible Doctrine and fellowship with God, because the sinner has turned away from God and His Word.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-094 & 20-095 & 20-096
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!