Dr. Kenneth Bailey on The Lost Coin Parable

He searches for us; He restores us — all with a Joyful Heart!


God is equated with a woman in the parable of lost sheep

Luke 15: 8-10

Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And 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." Just so I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.

According to Dr. Ken Bailey, in the Middle Eastern culture, a speaker could not compare a male audience to a woman without giving offense. A Pharisee would pray daily thanking God that he had not been created a woman. Jesus, in direct contrast to this point of view, goes much further by depicting himself as a woman. And in the process, Jesus elevates the worth of all women.

Another point is driven home: it's quite clear that the sheep plays a minimal role in its restoration. But now in the lost coin parable, it becomes absolutely clear that it's Jesus who does the finding and restoring. How could an inanimate coin be responsible for it's repentance?

For more on central theme within the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost sons, see Lost Sheep Parable.