Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, does not light a candle, and sweep the house…
I. WHAT BEFELL THIS WOMAN. She had ten pieces of silver, and of these she lost one — only one. That lost piece is man's soul. We were not always, not once, not at first, what we are now.
II. WHAT THIS WOMAN DID TO FIND THE MONEY. She did everything proper in the circumstances. She could not have done more. Assuming that the woman symbolizes the Spirit of God, the candle shining in her hand is the Bible, God's revealed Word, which He takes and carries into the recesses of the sinner's soul, revealing its foulness and danger and misery, and making him feel his need of a Saviour. As to the sweeping, which disturbs the house and reveals a foulness that, so long as it lay unstirred, was perhaps never suspected: that may indicate the convictions, the alarms, the dread discoveries, the searchings and agitations of heart, which not unfrequently accompany conversion. It is not till the glassy pool is stirred that the mud at the bottom rises to light; it is when storms sweep the sea that what it hides in its depths is thrown up on the shore; it is when brooms sweep walls and floor that the sunbeams, struggling through a cloud of dust, reveal the foulness of the house; and it is agitations and perturbations of the heart which reveal its corruption, and are preludes to the purity and peace that sooner or later follow on conversion.
III. THE WOMAN'S JOY AT FINDING THE PIECE OF SILVER. There is a peculiar pleasure felt in recovering what we have lost; or in having anything placed beyond the reach of danger which we are afraid of losing. No boat making the harbour over a glassy sea, its snowy canvas filled by the gentle breeze, and shining on the blue waters like a sea bird's wing, is watched with such interest, or, as with sail flapping on the mast, it grates on the shingle, is welcomed with such joy, as one which, leaving the wreck on the thundering reef, comes through the roaring tempest, boldly breasts the billows, and bringing off the half-drowned, half-dead survivors, shoots within the harbour amid flowing tears and cheers that, bursting from the happy crowd, rise above the rage and din of elements.
(T. Guthrie, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?