Luke 15:8 Or what woman having ten drachmas, if she loses one drachma does not light a lamp and sweep the house, and look carefully until she finds it? 9 And finding it, she calls together the friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I lost.
The drachmas, in Jesus time, was equivalent to the Roman denarii and was worth about 18 cents, so ten coins was worth about $2 or approximately ten days wages. James Merritt told his congregation back in March of 2002 that these ten coins this woman possessed were her engagement ring and that losing one was equal to declaring herself a prostitute. I could not find a source that stated that. However, I found a wealth of information concerning the Jewish wedding traditions… some of which give me chills and thrills when put into Christian context.
The first tradition is the matchmaking. Our first indication of matchmaking is when God created Eve for Adam. Now, hold that thought a moment. Abraham sent his servant to search out a bride for his son Isaac (Gen. 24:2-4), for he had no desire for Isaac to have a Canaanite woman as bride, thus Rebecca came to Isaac’s side, went into his tent and became his wife. All very simple, but there are some wonderful Christian truths here.
Our matchmaker is the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 tells us that the Holy Spirit teaches us all things and reminds us of all we learn about our Father and our Bridegroom. But, Act 1:2 until the day He was taken up, having given directions to the apostles whom He elected, through the Holy Spirit, indicates who we come to Jesus through. Peter points out in Acts 2, the prediction that God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh (Then being exalted to the right of God, and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out this which you now see and hear.) It is only through the Holy Spirit that we are able to understand, are drawn to, and through the Holy Spirit we are chosen by God. God is the Great Matchmaker, for He desires all to come to Him and none to perish (2 Peter 3:9). By His design, we are made perfect through the Bride Price.
The Bride Price. Abraham sent ten camels to the house of his brother, Nahor, to pay the Bride Price for one of his daughters. Abraham had no notion who God would give to Isaac, but he gave as much as he deemed the bride to be worth—which was a considerable amount even by today’s standards. He also sent bride gifts of bracelets weighing ten shekels and a nose ring for the Bride. The servant asked for God to show by sign who would be Isaac’s bride. The tradition continued with Isaac’s son, Jacob who gave something of considerable value—his time in hard labor. In all, Jacob spent about twenty years in service to Rebekah’s brother, Laban. Something of value was exchanged for something of value, the Bride. The traditional Jewish reason was for the provision of the woman in case something befell the husband, or in case of divorce.
Our Bride Price was the life of the most perfect man ever to be born on earth. Jesus our Savior and Lord, paid the price the Father set for us. His blood was of such great worth, it paid for all (1 John 2:2). Oh, what price that was.
In Jewish tradition and literature, the Marriage is called kiddushin which means sanctification or dedication. Our kiddushin begins with our acceptance of the Bride Price and the bestowing of the Seal of Promise. Often the bridal contract or ketubah are found the words “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine. Set me as a seal upon your heart.” How sweet is that promise sealed with Christ’s commitment. We celebrate the cycle of the seasons as we are sanctified in our walk with Christ. May we be ever sitting at His feet, drinking in His word which is so powerful that it brings an army to its knees. May we spread His Circle of Light and bring hope to the perishing. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.