‘Forgiveness is the ultimate middle finger to the very entity of evil.’ – ‘Grace Is For Sinners’
Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.”
When Jesus says something, Christians might consider actually listening to it. Especially when he’s telling us a story to illustrate what the Kingdom of God is like.
Therefore, the kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants.
God is like the king in the story. He has his ledger open and is calling his people in, one by one, to pay their debts.
As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars.
This guy owed the king the equivalent of one-hundred-fifty years of wages. It was an impossible debt. There was no way he could pay.
Going by the books, the servant had to be sold into slavery. In the same way, going by the books, the wages of sin is death.
He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market. The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
He took pity because this man, stupid enough to rack up 150 years of debt, was in over his head.
But somebody had to suffer the loss. Just because a debt is forgiven doesn’t mean that the debt disappears. The king absorbed the loss when he threw out the ledger for this guy.
God shows us mercy because we, as humans, are in over our heads. We cannot pay our debt. So, Jesus absorbed the debt and threw out the law book when he died on the cross.
The man no longer lives under the law, if he did, he’d be a slave. In the same way, we no longer live under the law, if we did, we’d be slaves.
The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’
The man brought the ledger back out when it was he who wanted to be paid back.
The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid.
The guy owed him money and he had every right, under the law, to throw him in jail. It wouldn’t matter if it was two cents. The law doesn’t have a scale, it’s black and white and has no mercy.
The guy is all about throwing out the law book when it benefits him, but isn’t a supporter when it costs him.
The problem is, you can’t serve two kingdoms. Whatever kingdom you implement when it comes down to it is the one you serve. You can’t have it both ways.
When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king. The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt.
The man chose the law, so, the law he gets. If he wants to be paid back by those who wronged him, then he has to pay back his own debt.
And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.
If you want to be free, then you have to set others free.
Just because you forgive the debt, doesn’t mean it disappears. Somebody has to pay. Jesus absorbed our debt. We absorb the debts of others. How else are we going to be crucified with Christ?
I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. – Paul, Galatians 2:20
You’re at a fork in the road. Which kingdom do you serve, law or grace? It’s your choice, God will honor it.