"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!"
Likewise I say to you, there is joy in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents."
This is a continuation of my series I started on Women in the Life of Jesus. The woman with ten pieces of silver is not a real woman like the others I've discussed, but part of a parable that Jesus told to illustrate a truth. In the passage right before the one above, he tells a parable of a man searching for a lost sheep, with the same outcome, finding what he had lost.
In my own personal Bible study, I have referred to the story of the man who lost one sheep and left the 99 to go searching for the one. (See Luke 15:1-7) It has always been sort of a picture of myself, Jesus being the shepherd, and myself being the lost sheep.
But recently, I noticed, because someone pointed it out, that there are two stories of searching side by side in Luke 15. There is the story of the man searching for his sheep, and the story of the woman searching for her coin. This puts a new spin on things, doesn't it?
Each story follows the same pattern. Something is lost. Someone searches for it. They find it. They rejoice. They call their friends and neighbors over and they rejoice with them. Then Jesus tells us this is a picture of a sinner who repents, and Heaven is rejoicing.
What I find really cool about the parable of the woman is that IT IS a story of a woman. She is doing the searching. She is doing the finding. She is calling her friends to rejoice. And at the end the angels in the presence of God are rejoicing.
To me, this says that women are just as important in the work of Kingdom business as men. Why else would Jesus tell the story of a woman? He could have easily told the story of another man.
I believe it is because Jesus expects women to be at work searching for the lost, just as He expects men. By including these two stories side by side, Jesus elevated women into the a parallel place beside men.
He was speaking to Pharisees and scribes, teachers of the law. This was probably extremely offensive to them, and I am sure is offensive to some today. Nevertheless, it is still there in Jesus' own words. And I believe the Holy Spirit placed it there on purpose.
So, if you are a woman, know you are of great value in the sight of God. Jesus has plans and purposes for you in His kingdom, and expects you to join Him in restoring those who are lost.
To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.