What do nails, obelisks and the Euro have to do with the parable of the lost coin in Luke 15:1-10? It was literally a silver drachma coin and once nails or metal sticks were used as coins called oboloi. Eventually 6 of these nails were worth a drachma (a handful). A small obolos was called an obelisk and so the monument shaped like one was also humorously referred to as a small nail. In later history, silver coins called drachma were minted in many cities where Greek culture had some influence, and they were worth a variety of values. Eventually, a consensus emerged which gave the coin the rough equivalent value of a skilled worker’s daily pay. Modern Greece also used the word drachma for its currency before it was replaced by the Euro. And now you know.
I was replacing a needle valve in the carburetter of my first car, a Mustang. We didn’t have a garage and the workplace was a front lawn, a foolish place to work with small parts. The obvious happened. I lost the needle valve in all that grass. After two hours of stubborn searching, I was besides myself with frustration and anger. My wife finally noticed my fuming and came out to offer her help. She demanded that I go inside and relax while she looked. Less than five minutes later, she found the lost item. I ran out the front door, jumped for joy and promptly lost the valve again, permanently. This time I bought a replacement. Most of us understand the joy of finding something lost. The joy in heaven over any of us turning to God is great.
The world’s most valuable coin according to about.com is a 1933 gold double eagle worth in excess of $7.5 million. However, bornrich.com claims that another coin is even more valuable, a silver 1795 flowing hair dollar worth over $7.8 million. Luke 15:1-32 contains a parable of a lost coin. Imagine losing a small object worth almost $8 million. It could get easily lost. Imagine losing a winning lottery ticket worth millions. What would you do? I know what I would do. I’d be turning up everything in the house looking until I found it. Like the lady looking for her lost valuable coin, I’d sweep and scour every nook and cranny. When I found my coin worth millions, I’d be sure to throw a party. So do the angels when even just one sinner repents.