Wednesday, November 8, 2023
This is Jesus' second parable that He tells in response to religious criticism that He associates too often with sinners and unworthy people.  Jesus often faced this criticism throughout His ministry. The reason? The accusations of the religious elite about His being a friend of sinners were true.  In this very context, Jesus invites all people to open their ears and hearts to hear, yet only the sinners drew near to hear Him. 
In a dimly lit, dirt-floor house where most people at this time lived, losing a coin somewhere in the house was commonplace. Losing something valuable, like a silver coin — especially as many commentators speculate, this was a coin from her wedding crown — was not commonplace. Most average people couldn't afford anything made of precious metals. Losing such a valuable coin was disastrous and devastating. While Jesus' story is short, he tells it with deep emotion and succinct clarity. She lit a lamp and searched the house very carefully. Everyone in the neighborhood had heard about her distressing loss. When she finds this precious silver coin, she spreads the word and invites them to a party celebrating her great find!
People in the time of Jesus would have immediately understood and enjoyed His story anchored in real-life experience. Jesus, however, wanted to anchor a supremely important truth about God in this emotional and joyous moment in the crowd. God and His angels celebrate finding each lost sinner! Each is precious to God, whether or not they are important in the estimation of the religious leaders or the world around them. Our God is the Holy One Who loves parties with everyday people. Our God loves finding lost people. Repentant sinners find celebration and joy when they come back home to the Father.
Why does Jesus invest so much of Himself in sinners? Simple, His Father longs to have a reason to throw a party for the angels of heaven, and Jesus wants to give Him reasons to party! Hallelujah! Our Father is the God of joy and celebration, and sinners who find their salvation in Him give Him a reason to party.
For us, the message is clear. In our relationships, we always want to stay connected to those outside God's family to help them find grace, hope, joy, and Jesus. And give our Father another reason to celebrate salvation with the hosts of heaven. We must commit to spending time with those who are unbelievers, not to participate in their sinful behaviors but to befriend them and lead them to Jesus! 
Father, please use me to introduce my friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers to Jesus. I want them to know how much He loves them and longs to be a part of their lives. Please give me the proper sense of balance between how much time I need to invest in unbelievers around me, unbelievers who are more distant but still need to know Jesus, and my brothers and sisters in Christ. I know I cannot balance all of this properly without the Spirit's guidance. In addition, dear Father, I ask for a better disposition when dealing with difficult, critical, harsh people who oppose me. I want to display Jesus to them as well and have an opportunity to share the reason for my hope and my open heart with them. I ask for this guidance in Jesus' name. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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