“Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” vs. 32
Some of Jesus’ parables need explanations…they can be difficult and obscure. That’s not the case with the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.” It’s obvious to anyone hearing the story that this servant is about as insensitive and cruel as anyone could possibly be. His actions following forgiveness are reprehensible and he deserved the torture that was his punishment. And Jesus’ point is clear! All of his followers have enjoyed forgiveness in full…at the very least they should practice forgiveness in their relationships with others. Now the big question…if this is Jesus’ expectation, why is it such a struggle for us to forgive? There are a couple of possibilities: first, we may not be conscious of being debtors. Even though we regularly go through a pro forma order of confession in worship, we really think we’re pretty decent people. And second, we love having other people indebted to us. The self-righteous enjoy holding grudges, withholding forgiveness, and inflicting punishment. And so we hang on to slights and affronts for dear life, knowing that if we slip and forgive, we will have no advantage. So forgiveness turns out to be pretty difficult. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean we’re off the hook. Jesus has made it clear that forgiveness is a number one priority for his followers…even if it’s the hardest thing we’re ever called to do!
Thought for the Day: Why is a sinner like a debtor? To whom am I in debt?