Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

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?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Joy;   Penitent;   Pharisees;   Repentance;   Salvation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Parables;   Truth;   The Topic Concordance - Losing and Things Lost;   Repentance;   Salvation;   Seeking;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Parables;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Coins;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Money;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Pieces;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Candle;   Drachma;   Herodians;   Money;   Pieces of Gold;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Drachma;   Gospel;   Imagery;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Luke, Gospel of;   Mammon;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dram;   Love, Lover, Lovely, Beloved;   Money;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Candle;   Children of God;   Doctrines;   Eternal Punishment;   Gospel (2);   Ideas (Leading);   Man (2);   Mental Characteristics;   Money (2);   Numbers (2);   Religious Experience;   Rust ;   Salvation;   Unity (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Weights and Measures;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Drachm,;   Piece of Silver;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Sweep;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Drachma;   Either;   Perdition;   Piece of Silver;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for November 14;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Ten pieces of silver - Δραχμας δεκα, ten drachmas. I think it always best to retain the names of these ancient coins, and to state their value in English money. Every reader will naturally wish to know by what names such and such coins were called in the countries in which they were current. The Grecian drachma was worth about sevenpence three farthings of our money; being about the same value as the Roman denarius.

The drachma that was lost is also a very expressive emblem of a sinner who is estranged from God, and enslaved to habits of iniquity. The longer a piece of money is lost, the less probability is there of its being again found; as it may not only lose its color, and not be easily observed, but will continue to be more and more covered with dust and dirt: or its value may be vastly lessened by being so trampled on that a part of the substance, together with the image and superscription, may be worn off. So the sinner sinks deeper and deeper into the impurities of sin, loses even his character among men, and gets the image and superscription of his Maker defaced from his heart. He who wishes to find the image of God, which he has lost by sin, must attend to that word which will be a lantern to his steps, and receive that Spirit which is a light to the soul, to convince of sin, righteousness, and judgment. He must sweep the house - put away the evil of his doings; and seek diligently - use every means of grace, and cry incessantly to God, till he restore to him the light of his countenance. Though parables of this kind must not be obliged to go on all fours, as it is termed; yet they afford many useful hints to preachers of the Gospel, by which they may edify their hearers. Only let all such take care not to force meanings on the words of Christ which are contrary to their gravity and majesty.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-15.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Or what woman having ten pieces of silver; if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she hath found it, she calleth together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

ANALOGIES IN THE PARABLE

The woman = the church throughout all the ages

The lost coin = the "dropout" from church

The lighted lamp = the word of God

The broom = the church's concern for true virtues and morality

The diligent search = the church's urgent activity to save souls

The rejoicing = the joy in heaven over one who is saved

Which I had lost ... This is a significant acceptance of blame on the part of the woman for having lost the coin, which inherently is incapable of losing itself. This stands for people in all ages who, in a sense, are lost from God's service through sin or ineptitude within the church itself. Volumes could be written on the things which churches do or leave undone, causing the loss of precious souls.

I. Note the coin as the type of a man.

(1) Both are from the earth, silver being refined from earthly ore, and man having been created of the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7).

(2) Both are valuable. Silver coins have ever been recognized as items of value, but sometimes men have been accounted as cheap in the eyes of their fellows. Earth's warlords have ever looked upon men as mere pawns in the struggle for power; and historically, the rich and the powerful have often held human life as cheap indeed (Matthew 10:29,30).

(3) Both may be exchanged for something else. Man may exchange himself for eternal life (Luke 16:9). On the other hand, he may sell himself to do evil in God's sight (1 Kings 21:20). Esau sold his birthright for one mess of pottage (Hebrews 12:16). A man, like a coin, may be exchanged for something else.

(4) Both are stamped with the image of the maker, the coin with the likeness of the emperor, and man in the likeness of God who created him (Genesis 1:27). The image of God in every man distinguishes him from the lower creations, and proves that he is not a mere brother to a beast.

II. The lost coin is very like a sinner, or backslider.

(1) Both were lost through no fault of their own. The woman lost the coin; and all men are in a condition of loss and death through the sin of Adam (Romans 5:14,15). Death reigns over all men, even over those who have not sinned as Adam sinned. We are using the term "lost" in this connection with regard to man's mortal condition, and not as endorsing the speculation concerning original sin.

(2) The lost coin and the lost man are alike fallen. That the coin in the parable was upon a lower level is evident in the use of the broom; and the sinner too is said to be fallen. It is said of Judas that "he fell" (Acts 1:25); and the sinful church was declared to have "fallen" from its first love (Revelation 2:25).

(3) Both the lost coin and the lost man suffer increasing damage. The lost coin becomes tarnished, even chemically altered, losing eventually the superscription upon it; and likewise the lost man finds the image of God in his soul progressively effaced and tarnished by sin and shame.

(4) Both the lost coin and the lost man become increasingly difficult to recover. The longer each is lost the harder it is to find. Every child should be saved as soon as possible after the age of accountability (Ecclesiastes 12:1). Well does the Spirit of God teach that the earliest possible instant is none too soon to seek salvation in the name of the Lord.

III. This parable also reveals valuable lessons on how to find the lost.

(1) First, the woman lighted a lamp; and the church would do well to follow that example. Without a lighted lamp, one would never find a lost coin in a dark place; and unless the church shall hold aloft the lighted lamp of the word of God, the lost shall not be recovered. The only light is the Bible. Churches seek in vain to light up this world's darkness by preaching human philosophies, legends, political convictions, social schemes, or anything else other than the holy word revealed in the New Testament. "Thy word is a lamp ... and a light" (Psalms 119:105).

(2) The woman searched diligently for the lost coin. The church should be diligent in the program of evangelization, the same being the church's most urgent business.

(3) The woman used a broom to sweep the whole place. Churches which have allowed the whole atmosphere within their fellowship to be polluted with unrebuked sin, open immorality, or any other defection from the path of duty should take a lesson from the broom. Both the lamp and the broom are necessary. The church cannot be effective in the saving of souls until it has lighted the lamp and employed the broom.

IV. This parable, like the preceding one, stresses the joy of the angels of heaven over the salvation of the lost.

Seeing that the angels of God are interested in the salvation of souls, how diligent all men ought to be in looking after the one thing needful, namely, the soul's redemption.

Nor is the rejoicing over sinners saved restricted to the courts of heaven. The woman with her friends and neighbors rejoiced; and so will the church which works to save men. The saving church is a happy church.

THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON

Actually, this is the parable of two sons, the elder brother being no less lost than was the prodigal; but, by the consent of all mankind, it is known by the title above. This writer once delivered a sermon before four hundred men in prison; and, upon the announcement of this parable as the subject, a mighty groan went up from the four hundred vigorous masculine throats; and after the sermon, the chaplain revealed that upon four successive Sundays the guest speakers had based their remarks upon this parable!

There are two applications of it. First, the prodigal son represents the Gentiles who rebelled against God and departed from the Father's house. The elder brother represents the Jewish religious establishment who remained, nominally, in the fold of God, but who nevertheless became proud, self-righteous, unfeeling recipients of the Father's mercy, having lost all contact with the Father. Significantly, the older brother went to the servants, instead of to the Father, with questions about the joyful celebration. The love of God for both Jews and Gentiles is seen in the Father's reception of both sons, his reinstatement of the prodigal, and his entreating of the older brother.

The second, and more general, application of the parable has regard to the men of every generation.

That this parable is an unqualified tragedy, first to last, may not be doubted, despite the rejoicing over the return of the prodigal; and, as is the case in many of Jesus' teachings, the total unworthiness of the human race in the sight of God is plainly taught. To be sure, people are precious in God's sight; God loves them; God offered His Son upon Calvary for their redemption; and one redeemed soul is valued above the world and everything in it (Mark 8:36,37); but Jesus was careful to use illustrations, such as this parable, in such a manner as to show beyond any shadow of doubt that no man DESERVES salvation through his own merit. The prodigal son did not merit the honorable reinstatement he received of the father; nor did the hard-hearted elder brother deserve the father's entreaty at the end of it. In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-6), both those workers who came in the eleventh hour and received reward, and those who worked all day and complained against the householder, proved themselves to be without merit. The same situation is seen in the parable of two sons (Matthew 21:28-32); who would wish to have a son like either one of them? Likewise, in the parable of the marriage of the king's son (Matthew 22:12-14), neither the nobility who scorned the invitation, nor the rabble that accepted it, had any quality of character that could have merited the invitation. See comment on those parables in my Commentary on Matthew.

This most beloved of the Master's parables is here discussed line by line; and, after Luke 15:24, is a condensed sermon this writer has preached in forty states and several foreign countries.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Either what woman, having ten pieces of silver,.... Or "drachmas": a "drachma" was the fourth part of a shekel, and of the same value with a Roman penny; and was worth of our money, seven pence half penny; so that the ten pieces amounted to six shilling's, and three pence: the Ethiopic version renders it "ten rings": this parable is delivered, with the same view as the former; the scope and design of them are alike, being occasioned by the same circumstance, only the passiveness of a sinner in conversion is here more fully signified; who can contribute no more to the first act of conversion, which is purely God's work, than a lost piece of silver to its being found: by the "ten pieces or silver" are designed, all the Jews, or the whole body of that people; as they were before signified, by the hundred sheep; they having been God's peculiar treasure, though they were now in general become reprobate silver: and by the "woman" the proprietor of them, is meant Christ; and in what sense he was the owner of them, has been shown on Luke 15:4. The "nine" pieces design the Scribes and Pharisees; and the one lost piece, expressed in the next clause,

if she lose one piece, intends the elect among the Jews, and who chiefly consisted of publicans and sinners; and the regard had to these, is signified by the following expressions,

doth not light a candle: by which is meant, not the light of nature or reason in man: for though this is called a candle, and is of Christ's lighting, yet that by which he looks up his lost people, for this is become very dim: and though by it men may know there is a God, and the difference between moral good and evil, by it they cannot come at the knowledge of things spiritual; as of God in Christ, of the sin of nature, and of the plague of the heart; nor of the way of salvation by Christ, nor of the work of the Spirit, and the nature and need of it; nor of the Scriptures of truth, and of the doctrines of the Gospel, nor of the things of another world: neither is the law of Moses intended; for though there was light by it into the knowledge of sin, yet not clear; and though the ceremonial law was a shadow of Christ, and did give some instructions about him, and the doctrines of the Gospel, and blessings of grace, yet but very obscure hints: but by this candle is meant, the Gospel itself; which, like a candle, is lighted up in the evening of the world; and may be removed, as it sometimes is, from place to place; and where it is set, and blessed, it gives light, and is useful both to work and walk by; it does not always burn alike clear, or is always held forth in the same purity: and it will give the greatest light at last, as a candle does, even at the end of the world: now Christ is the lighter of this, and from him it has all its light, who is the maker of it; he keeps it light, and by it he looks up and finds out his elect ones; though this is not a direction to him, who perfectly knows who they are, and where they be, but is rather a light to them, that they may know and find him:

and sweep the house: which phrase sometimes designs outward reformation, as in Matthew 12:44 and sometimes God's judgments upon a people, as in Isaiah 14:23 but here the preaching of the Gospel, and the power that goes along with it, to the the effectual calling of the elect: the "house" in which Christ's lost piece of silver, or his chosen ones were, may design the nation of the Jews, who are often called the house of Israel; this was a house of God's building and choosing, and where he dwelt; and among these people for a long time, God's elect lay, though all of them were not so; and about this time the Lord was about to break up house keeping with them; yet as there were some few among them, that were to be looked up and called, therefore this house must be swept, as it was by the ministry of John the Baptist, by Christ himself, and by his apostles: and this suggests, what must be the state and condition of God's elect, being in this house, before it was swept, and they found out; they were out of sight, in great obscurity and darkness, with a deal of rubbish and dirt upon them, and pollution in them; and impotent to that which is good, and to their own recovery, and yet capable of being recovered: and this phrase hints at the power and efficacy of divine grace, that goes along with the word, in looking up and finding lost sinners; in enlightening their dark minds, quickening them, being dead in sin, taking away their stony hearts, regenerating them, enstamping the divine image upon them, removing every thing from them they trusted in, and working faith in them, to look to, and believe in Christ: and as in sweeping of an house, a great stir is made, a dust raised, and things are moved out of their place; so by the preaching of the Gospel, an uproar is made in the sinner himself; in his conscience, which is filled with a horrible sight of sin; which is very loathsome, and causes uneasy reflections, fills with shame and confusion, and greatly burdens and distresses, and with the terrors of the law, and with dreadful apprehensions of hell and damnation; in his will there is a reluctancy to part with sinful lusts and pleasures, with sinful companions, and with his own righteousness, and to be saved by Christ alone, and to serve him, and bear his cross: and in his understanding, things appear in a different light than they before did: and great stir and opposition is made by Satan, to hinder the preaching of the Gospel, as much as in him lies, and persons from coming to hear it; and if they do, he endeavours to hinder, by catching it from them, or diverting them from that; by insinuating, it is either too soon or too late, to mind religion; or that sin is either so great that it cannot be forgiven, or so trivial, that a few prayers, tears, alms deeds, &c. will make amends for it; by distressing them about their election, or about the willingness of Christ to save them; or by stirring up others to dissuade and discourage them. Moreover, when the Gospel is preached in purity and with power, and souls are converted, there is a great stir and uproar in the world, and among the men of it; because the doctrines of it are foolishness, and strange things to them; and oppose their sense of things, and strip them of what is valuable; and men are hereby distinguished from them, and taken from among them: and there is also a stir and an uproar made by it, among carnal professors of religion, as there was at this time among the Scribes and Pharisees; and all this bustle is made, for the sake of a single piece of money:

and seek diligently till she find it? not only a light is set up, an hand of power put forth in using the besom, but a quick sharp eye looks out for the piece of silver: this diligent seeking and finding, are to be understood not of the grace of Christ in redemption; nor of his restoring backsliders; but of his converting sinners, through the preaching of the Gospel, both in his own person, and by his ministers, his Spirit making their ministrations effectual: the diligence, care, and circumspection of Christ, to find out lost sinners, while the Gospel is preaching, are here signified: it is not the preacher that looks out for them, though he that is a faithful minister of the word performs his office diligently and carefully, and he desires nothing more earnestly than the conversion of sinners; but then he knows not who are, and who are not the elect of God, and is ignorant of what Christ is doing, whilst he is preaching: Christ's eye is upon his lost piece; he perfectly knows the persons of the elect, as they are his Father's choice, and his gift to him; he knew them in the counsel of peace, and covenant of grace, in the fall of Adam, and their natural estate; he knows the places where they all are, and the time when they are to be converted; and distinguishes them amidst all the filth that attends them, and the crowd among which they are; and he continues seeking, till he finds them; which shows the perpetuity of the Gospel ministry the indefatigableness of Christ, and his sure and certain success: the reasons of all this care and diligence, are his love to them, his propriety in them, his Father's will, and his own engagement; and because they must be for ever lost, did he not seek after them.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-15.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Luke 15:8-10. II. The lost coin.

sweep the house — “not done without dust on man‘s part” [Bengel].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-15.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

8. Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

[A woman lighteth a candle.] There is a parable not much unlike this in Midras Schir, "R. Phineas Ben Jair expoundeth. If thou seek wisdom as silver, that is, if thou seek the things of the law as hidden treasures--A parable. It is like a man who if he lose a shekel or ornament in his house, he lighteth some candles, some torches, till he find it. If it be thus for the things of this world, how much more may it be for the things of the world to come!"

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-15.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Ten pieces of silver (δραχμας δεκαdrachmas deka). The only instance in the N.T. of this old word for a coin of 65.5 grains about the value of the common δηναριυςdēnarius (about eighteen cents), a quarter of a Jewish shekel. The double drachma (διδραχμονdidrachmon) occurs in the N.T. only in Matthew 17:24. The root is from δρασσομαιdrassomai to grasp with the hand (1 Corinthians 3:19), and so a handful of coin. Ten drachmas would be equal to nearly two dollars, but in purchasing power much more.

Sweep (σαροιsaroi). A late colloquial verb σαροωsaroō for the earlier σαιρωsairō to clear by sweeping. Three times in the N.T. (Luke 11:25; Luke 15:8; Matthew 12:44). The house was probably with out windows (only the door for light and hence the lamp lit) and probably also a dirt floor. Hence Bengel says: non sine pulvere. This parable is peculiar to Luke.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-15.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Pieces of silver ( δραχμὰς )

Used by Luke only. A coin worth about eighteen cents, commonly with the image of an owl, a tortoise, or a head of Pallas. As a weight, 65.5 grains. A common weight in dispensing medicines and writing prescriptions. Wyc., transcribing the Greek word, dragmes Tynd., grotes.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-15.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Scofield's Reference Notes

pieces of silver

drachma, here translated a piece of silver, is the eighth part of an ounce, and is equal to the Roman penny. See, Matthew 18:28.

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 15:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-15.html. 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE LOST COIN

‘Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it.’

Luke 15:8

Dust flying, confusion reigning, a woman, with a lighted candle, searching in the dark corners of the house—it is a strange picture certainly. But it is one of the most striking that the Divine Artist ever painted.

I. The lost coin.—Observe, this coin was dropped, not ‘in the depths of the unfathomed sea,’ not in the highway of the world without, not on some wild and trackless moor, but in the house. Within the house it surely might be found: recovery was not hopeless. And what house is here intended but the Church.

(a) This coin upon the floor was useless. Current coin of the realm is intended to be used. Even so, Christian, if you are living in worldliness and self-indulgence, you are dead while you live—dead, at least, to usefulness.

(b) Further observe, that this piece of silver was without doubt defaced. Do men take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus? Or has contact with the world obliterated all traces of the Divine likeness in our souls?

(c) Notice, again, that this coin was dishonoured. There it lay, amid dirt and rubbish, trodden under foot. If your destiny is so high, you will not be suffered to slumber thus. If you are a saint indeed, and yet are fallen in this world’s dust, Christ’s broom and candle are not far off your soul.

II. The search.—There are two parts in this process, both of which are instructive.

(a) The first thing to be done was to light a candle. You can find nothing in the dark. ‘At that time, saith the Lord, I will search Jerusalem [not Babylon] with candles, and will punish the men that are settled on the lees: that say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, neither will He do evil’ (Zephaniah 1:12). Well, if it be so, better be judged now than condemned hereafter. Let us have no part dark, no wicked way, no unmortified lust, no secret pride, no long-cherished grudge, no shrinking from the cross, no love of filthy lucre.

(b) The candle, however, is not the only instrument that the Holy Spirit used. A broom is needed. Christ must sweep as well as illumine. We know the first effect of the use of the broom. The dust flies in clouds. The first effect of the approach of God’s Spirit to the soul with broom and candle is always to raise the dust. Don’t imagine it can be otherwise. God’s plan is not to cover over evil, but to bring it to the surface and get rid of it. What though the dust does fly; cannot the Great Housekeeper cleanse it? Has He no recipe to lay the dust? He has an unfailing remedy—‘No wound has the soul that Christ’s blood cannot cure.’

Rev. E. W. Moore.

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE PRECIOUSNESS OF EACH SOUL

This is a parable of the love of God. God represents Himself as missing one soul. God would show to us that each soul is precious. Each one was separately created; each one has a place designed for it in the universal temple; each one not filling that place leaves a blank. The eye of love misses it, and therefore the hand of love seeks it.

I. God’s love lights a lamp of revelation in the world.—Though you may care little about your lost soul, God cares for it much. God has lit His candle—the candle of Divine revelation, and He is throwing its illumination upon you. We wonder you come here to church if you do not intend to be shone upon. There is that in you which cries out for God—which you cannot persuade to rest out of God’s light. Many a man feels without knowing what he wants. The Divine Master interprets. You want God’s love. Hinder not, thwart not God’s search for your soul. But love herself might light the candle, and yet the lost coin not be found under the long accumulation of dirt—of easily besetting sins and long-indulged habits. So the parable goes on to speak of a sweeping. It is a homely figure—beneath the dignity of this pulpit, some might say, only that here Christ has gone before.

II. The love of God sweeps the house, which is the man.—Is not this the real meaning of that sickness, that bereavement, that disappointment, which seemed to you so casual, or so wanton, or so cruel? The love of God had failed in its illumination. You suffered the dust of earth to lie thick upon you—perhaps the amiable dust of kindly sentiment, of satisfied affection, or perhaps the ugly dust of eager grasping, of over-mastering passion; and so evading the illumination you necessitated the sweeping. It was the love of God still. And now there comes into the very life’s life a stir and an agitation which cannot be disregarded. Now begin all manner of questionings from which previously you were free. While you cared not for God you took God for granted. All is confusion, added difficulty and conflict; you are passing now from death unto life, not passed. The love of God is at work, and will seek diligently till He find.

III. This seeking is unto finding.—Love will not stay till she finds. Help her, brethren, every one, in her gracious, her wonderful work. Help the joy of angels. Kick not against the goad. It drives till you will let it lead. Then all is peace, ‘quietness, and assurance for ever.’ To find the lost soul is not easy. The whole work of sanctification is wrapped up in it. Every thought has to be brought into captivity: every habit uncoined and re-nicked.

—Dean Vaughan.

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-15.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Ver. 8. If she lose once piece] One Tester. Drachma enim valebat septem denarios cum dimidio. (Breerwood de Num.) 1:1. See the margin of our new translation.

And sweep the house] σαροι, everrit, not evertit, as the Vulgate hath it corruptly: and Gregory with others were deceived by it in their descants and glosses, nothing to the purpose.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-15.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 15:8

The Search of Love.

Three parables stand together in this chapter. The occasion of all is one and the same—the murmuring of scribes and Pharisees against the Saviour, who would eat with sinners. And the general drift of all is the same—the feeling of God towards repentant sinners, illustrated by man's feeling towards a possession lost and found. Thus far there is unity—there is even identity—in the three. But no two parables of our Lord are really identical, however like may be the incidents of one to those of another. And so it is here. There is a climax natural and real in the three losses in this chapter. In the first parable the owner of a hundred sheep loses one of them; in the second the owner of ten pieces of silver loses one of them; in the third the father of two sons loses one of them. Now, the second lost thing, though it is less valuable than the first, is to the owner more so. The third is a loss different in kind, and appealing yet more forcibly to the understanding and heart of mankind. There is a climax also in the thing signified. The sheep has strayed in its ignorance from the flock and the pasture. The son exiles himself of self-will and rebelliousness from the home and from the father. Between these two extremes of mere simplicity and utter wilfulness lies the insensate unconciousness of the lost coin.

I. The woman who has lost one of the ten pieces cannot acquiesce and rest in her loss. Little in itself, to her it is vital. She waits not for the light of day, but discovering her loss at night, by night she sets herself to repair it. She lights the lamp, sweeps the house, and seeks diligently till she finds it. It is a parable of the love of God. God represents Himself as missing one soul. Little is that soul in itself to the great God. But God would show to us that each one is precious. Each one was separately created; each one has a place designed for it in the universal temple; each one not filling that place leaves a blank. The eye of love misses it, and therefore the hand of love seeks it.

II. The parable goes on to speak of a sweeping. I know it is a homely figure—too homely, perhaps, for some tastes—beneath the dignity, some might say, of the pulpit; only that here Christ has gone before, has written it in His Book, and given it to me for a text. And how wonderful, however homely, is this figure! The love of God first lights up in the world this lamp of revelation, telling man what man could not know; for no man hath ascended up to heaven to read there, in the light of that world, the things that were and that are and that shall be. First this,—the remembering that this light will never fall of itself upon the lost coin, the very loss of which lies in its being out of sight of the man himself. Then, secondly, the love of God sweeps—sweeps, I say, the house, which is the man. You suffered the dust of earth to lie thick upon you—perhaps the amiable dust of kindly sentiment, of satisfied affection; or perhaps the ugly dust of eager grasping, of predominant self, of overmastering passion; and so, evading the illumination, you necessitated the sweeping. It was the love of God still.

III. The love of God will seek diligently till it find. Marvellous word! Record at once of difficulty and perseverance. How much is repaired ere the finding be accomplished! To find the lost soul is not easy. The whole work of sanctification is wrapped up in it. Every thought has to be brought into captivity; every motive has to be elevated. Objects indifferent once, or distasteful, are to be made the aim of the life; and that holiness, which to fallen man is repugnant, must be cultivated for a purpose to fallen man repulsive—that he may at last see God. This is the meaning of that diligent search by which love at last shall find; for without success love cannot live. Love cannot sleep till its object be accomplished. No toil is too great, may she but attain.

C. J. Vaughan, Penny Pulpit, new series, No. 832.

References: Luke 15:8.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 352; J. Keble, Sermons for Sundays after Trinity, part i., p. 84; Expository Sermons on the New Testament, p. 86.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-15.html.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The scope of this parable is the same with the former.

1. To express the joy that is found with God and his holy angels, at the recovery and conversion of a notorious sinner.

2. To justify Christ in conversing with such sinners in order to their repentance and conversion, from the malicious reflections of the Pharisees made upon our Saviour for so doing: the sense of the words seems to be this, "If you do all justify the diligence and care of a woman, using all possible means to recover the loss of a piece of silver that has Caesar's image upon it, why (might our Saviour say) will you Pharisees censure and condemn me for seeking to recover and save lost sinners, that have the image of an holy God instamped upon them?"

Learn hence,

1. That the conversion of a sinner from a course and state of sin and wickedness, is highly acceptable and pleasing unto God.

2. That it is reasonable to suppose, that the holy angels in heaven do conceive a new joy at the notice and news of a sinner's repentance and conversion unto God: how the angels come by this knowledge, whether by virtue of their ministry here below, or whether God is pleased to reveal it to them above, as a thing extremely welcome and delightful to good spirits, it is neither material to enquire, nor possible to determine. But their happiness not being intensively infinite, it is certain that they may be happier than they are.

Note 3. That God is not only willing to receive and embrace returning and repenting sinners, but the news of their repentance is entertained with so much joy in heaven, that if it be possible for the blessed inhabitants of that place to have any thing added to their happiness, this will be a new accession to it: for though the happiness of God himself be intensively infinite, and can have nothing added to it; yet the happiness of angels and glorified spirits being but finite, is capable of addition: and as their knowledge and love do increase, so their felicity may be growing and improving to all eternity; so that it is reasonable enough to suppose that there is really joy among the angels and spirits of just men made perfect, over every sinner that repenteth.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-15.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 15:8. γυνὴ, woman) There is signified σοφία, Wisdom, or in other words, Koheleth ( ἐκκλησιαστὴς): or else רוח, the Holy Spirit, even as the Son is alluded to in the 4th verse, and the Father in the 11th verse. The relation in which man stands towards God (the aspect under which God views him) is various.— σαροῖ, sweeps) This cannot be done without dust, [though not on the part of God, but] on the part of man.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-15.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 8-10. This parable (as appeareth by the conclusion of it) is of the same import with the other, and needs no further explication. By both these parables our blessed Lord lets the Pharisees know the end he aimed at in conversing with publicans and sinners, viz. In order to their repentance and conversion, than which nothing could be more grateful and well pleasing to that God who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that they should turn from their wickedness and live. Of the same import is also the following parable, which taketh up all the remaining part of this chapter.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 15:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-15.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

драхм Драхма была греческой монетой, приблизительно равной римскому динарию (см. пояснение к Мф. 22:19).

не зажжет свечи В типичном однокомнатном доме не было окон.

мести комнату Здесь показывается тщательность поиска.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-15.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Or what woman, having ten pieces of silver (ten drachmae), if she lose one piece (drachma), does not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?”

In this case the woman has ten drachmae, again the number signifying completeness. The drachma was a Greek coin, often found in Palestine, which was about the equivalent of a denarius, thus representing a day’s wage. This was possibly her dowry money, saved up for the future, and it may have formed part of a necklace or other ornament. To her it was very valuable, a treasured possession, and the loss of any part of it would be heartbreaking. And that is what this parable is about. The seeking of a treasured possession which has been lost (Exodus 19:5; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:4; 1 Peter 2:9).

Unfortunately, however, one of the coins is lost in the house and the completeness of her dowry is broken. The woman would experience a great sense of loss. She had watched over it for years and now this had happened. This situation would be made worse by the fact that the house was dark, for it would have had few if any windows, and the floor was probably of beaten earth and covered with rushes. The lost coin would thus not be easy to find. So what does she do? She lights her lamp, she sweeps the house, and she seeks and seeks and seeks with great diligence until finally she finds it. And she does it because of how precious it is to her.

The lighting of her lamp reminds us of the parable in Luke 12:35. It is an indication that all is in darkness and that without the lamp of witness the coin will not be found. She is seeking to bring it out of darkness into light (Acts 26:18). Light is necessary if darkness is to be dispelled. Her diligence in seeking the coin parallels the durability of the shepherd as he sought the sheep. She will not rest until she has it.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-15.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.What woman—The woman here is the Lamb’s wife, the Church. But if we adopt the interesting view that, while the shepherd is the Son of God, the woman the Holy Spirit, and the father in the last parable is God the Father Almighty, then we may view this woman as the Church, in which the Holy Spirit dwells, and through which it works. Then as the Son was incarnated in the Christ, and the Father embodied in creation, so the Holy Spirit is here impersonated in the living Church of God.

Ten pieces of silver—Commentators have recognized the increasing value of the sheep, the coin, and the son, by the diminished number from which they are lost. The sheep is but the hundredth part of the flock; the coin is but the tenth part; the son is one of

two. Pieces of silver—In the original a drachma.

This was a true heathen coin, circulating among the chosen people of God. It was no sacred shekel. It was a Greek piece, from a Roman mint, stamped with some pagan superscription; as the owl, the tortoise, or the head of the Grecian goddess Minerva. Fit emblem of the heathen sinners who were circulating and mixing among the house of Israel.

The house—If the woman is the Church, then the house is not the Church, but the world. The dead, senseless sinner is not in the Church.

Light’ swept’ searched—In her missionary work the Church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, must hold forth the light of divine truth, must sweep through every part of the world, and seek until she finds the sinner. She must display her light; for valuable as is this coin it is hid in darkness. She must sweep the world; for he is buried in the dust of this earth. She must search till she find; for the precious metal knows not its own value. It is unconscious of its own nature and state. All this, as literal description, was specially suitable in the ancient house; as it was without the wonderful modern convenience of the glass window, of which the use is now so common, that we never think of it among the great inventions.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-15.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 15:8. And his lord, i.e., the lord of the steward, of course, not the Lord Jesus.

The unjust steward, lit., ‘the steward of unrighteousness.’ This phrase stamps the conduct of the steward as immoral; and in this aspect as unworthy of imitation. But the point to which prominence is given follows: because he had acted wisely, shrewdly, prudently. The master had discovered the trick, yet praises his steward; for in the parable both are sons of this world, or ‘age.’

Wiser (not absolutely, but) for their generation (i.e., in their dealings with one another, since the whole parable is drawn from that sphere) than the sons of the light (those who are really Christians). Worldly men act prudently toward one another. But the sons of the light in their dealings with one another (‘for their generation’), often lack the prudence here commended. In the use of money, in the use of all those powers committed to us by God, which find in ‘this world ‘the only sphere for their use, Christians too often fail to act with prudence. The steward carefully considered his situation; but Christians very often fail to look at their duty in the light of their knowledge, and to act as common sense would dictate, when once the premises about God and Christ, things temporal and eternal, are admitted. There is no self-confessed folly so great as that of a son of the light who lives as if money-getting were the end of his existence. Of course there is a still higher wisdom implied.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-15.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 15:8. ., lights a lamp. The verb used in this sense in N.T. only in Lk. No windows in the dwellings of the poor: a lamp must be lighted for the search, unless indeed there be one always burning on the stand.— : colloquial and vulgar for , vide on Matthew 12:44.— : the emphasis in this parable lies on the seeking— , , ; in the Lost Sheep on the carrying home of the found object of quest.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-15.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

the preceding parable, the race of mankind is compared to a lost sheep, to teach us that we are the creatures of the most high God, who made us, and not we ourselves, of whose pasture we are the sheep. (Psalm xcix.) And in this parable mankind are compared to the drachma, which was lost, to shew us that we have been made to the royal likeness and image even of the omnipotent God; for the drachma is a piece of money, bearing the image of the king. (St. John Chrysostom in St. Thomas Aquinas)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-15.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Either. This parable is recorded only in Luke.

woman. Here representing the Holy Spirit.

ten. See the Structures of Luke 15:2 in the Luke book comments.

pieces of silver. Greek drachmas. Occurs only here, and in Luke 15:9. See App-51.

if she lose. An uncertain contingency. App-118.

not. Greek. ouchi. App-105.

candle = lamp. App-130.

diligently. A medical word. Used only here.

till. Same as "until" in Luke 15:4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-15.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

Either what woman, having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-15.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Either what woman having ten pieces of silver.—The main lesson of the parable that thus opens is, of course, identical with that of the Lost Sheep. We are justified, however, in assuming that the special features of each were meant to have a special meaning, and that we have therefore more than a mere ornamental variation of imagery. Looking to these points of difference we note (1) the use of the silver coin (the drachma) as a symbol of the human soul. Here the reason of the choice lies on the surface. The coin is what it is because it has on it the king’s image and superscription. Man is precious because he too has the image and superscription of the great King, the spiritual attributes of Thought and Will, by which he resembles God, stamped upon him. (2) There is, perhaps, a special significance in the fact that the coin is lost in the house, while the sheep strays from the fold. What seems implied here is the possibility that a soul that is precious in the sight of God may be lost even within the society, Israel or the Church of Christ, which is for the time being the visible house of God. (3) It is a woman who seeks, and not a man, and the change, at least, reminds us of the woman in the parable of the Leaven. (See Note on Matthew 13:33.) It is hardly an adequate explanation in either case, though it may be true in itself, that the variation was made to interest a different class of hearers, the women who were listening, who had no experience in going after the sheep that was lost. We must at least see in it the lesson that what we call feminine virtues and graces are needed for the deliverance of souls that have fallen—patience, and diligence, and minute observation—not less than what we think of as the more manly qualities of courage, and enterprise, and endurance. Lastly, in the “woman” of the parable we may venture to see that which answers in part to the ideal representation of Wisdom in the book of Proverbs (Luke 8, 9), in part to the Church as answering in its collective unity to the ideal of womanhood, as Christ Himself does to the ideal of manhood (Ephesians 5:23).

Doth not light a candle, and. . . . seek diligently . . .?—The symbolic meaning of each act lies almost on the surface. To “light the candle” can be nothing else than to put forth the full power of truth and holiness. To “sweep the house” can be nothing else than to use all available means for discovering the possible good that lies hidden or seemingly lost. In the later actual life of the Church, faithful preaching of the word answers to the one, faithful organisation of charity to the other. The rest of the parable is simply an identical reproduction, mutatis mutandis, of the conclusion of the former.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-15.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
pieces
"Drachma, here translated a piece of silver, is the eighth part of an ounce, which cometh to 7®d., and is equal to the Roman penny. Mt 18:28."
and seek
19:10; Ezekiel 34:12; John 10:16; 11:52; Ephesians 2:17
Reciprocal: Luke 15:24 - he

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 15:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-15.html.