The Story of the Coins

The Story of the Coins begins just after the encounter with Zacchaeus. Why not some reflections from Matthew, the ex-tax-collector among the twelve? The task of Jesus - to "seek and to save the lost" - included everyone, the faithful and loyal ones and the social outcasts. The story of the ten coins comes "while they were listening to this" and has two clear strands. The one relates to the rejection of Jesus by the Jewish authorities and the consequences of that rejection, the other to the possibilities that can be released when responding to God's grace. While this story parallels that of the talents, there are some instructive differences.

Jesus and his disciples are leaving Jericho. They had come out of the house of Zacchaeus, the local tax-collector. A crowd of curious people and critics had followed them there and observed the dramatic conversation between Jesus and Zacchaeus. As they walk, Nathanael and Matthew are in deep conversation.
NATHANAEL:Did you know him, Matthew?
MATTHEW:Not really, Nathanael. There are a lot of tax-collectors and we were in different districts.
NATHANAEL:Capernaum and Jericho - almost like different countries!
MATTHEW:I can understand the hatred of the locals - and the suspicion that he won't be any different now!
NATHANAEL:But Jesus has stated it very definitely - a change-for-life has occurred - salvation has come to this house.
MATTHEW:That's not all there is to the suspicion, of course. When I started following Jesus, I decided to invite some other tax-collectors around to meet Jesus.
NATHANAEL:And the critics of Jesus were not at all impressed!
MATTHEW:And notice now what Jesus has said, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost"!
NATHANAEL:We're going to Jerusalem now - what will Jesus do there?
MATTHEW:The work of the Kingdom - seeking and saving the lost!
NATHANAEL:So the possibility of salvation - and service - is for everyone!
MATTHEW:Not just for the faithful and loyal ones!
NATHANAEL:And if the possibility, the need too!
MATTHEW:But how do the lost - and the faithful and loyal - respond to God's time of opportunity?
Reader:Luke 19.11-27.

From Between the Lines. Dialogues for Worship by Peter J. Blackburn published by Testimonium Fellowship 1992, (c) Peter J. Blackburn.
Permission is given for copying of this document for local use with this copyright notice intact. For any other proposed use the specific permission of Peter J. Blackburn must be sought.

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