Jesus elevates worth of all women
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?
Click here for Part 1 of Prodigal
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.
What does Martin Luther have to do with a lost coin?
The Lost Coin parable paints a picture of Jesus taking the responsibility for finding us and restoring us. Yet when you look at the work of Martin Luther, there's an emphasis not on Jesus' faithfulness but on our faith, a requirement for salvation. By reading the following backstory, you'll be able to close this gap.
Open a bible and it likely has Martin Luther's fingerprints. His bible translation freed the common man then, but now it can imprison. In the 1500's, it was Luther who was willing to die to proclaim that faith alone saves, not the church. At the time, the church was selling indulgences. Redemption could be bought for a price. In 1517 John Tetzel said in his sermon, "Don't you hear the voices of your dead parents and other relatives crying out, 'Have mercy on us, for we suffer great punishment and pain. From this, you could release us with a few alms....We have created you, fed you, cared for you and left you our goods. Why do you treat us so cruelly and leave us to suffer in the flames, when it only takes a little to save us?'"
If Luther were alive today, he would likely provide an updated translation removing his emphasis on our faith and restoring Jesus’ faithfulness which saves. Prior to Matin Luther, earlier Middle Eastern versions of the New Testament emphasized Jesus' faithfulness, not our faith. For example (there are nine examples in all), prior to Luther, Romans 3:22 read, "This righteousness from God through the faithfulness of Messiah Jesus..." And Luther's translation, "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ..." (I’ll send you the seven examples if you write me, Keith Brown)