"Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’" Matt 18:32-35
When one of his disciples asks Jesus about how much and how often forgiveness should be extended, he responds with a parable that relays concepts with which we can all identify. The story is told of a man who was in a greater debt to the king than he could ever hope to repay. Through pleading with his lord, he received forgiveness of his debt and freedom for himself and his family. This same fellow went out and found someone who owed him a relative pittance, beat and berated him and threatened to have him incarcerated.
Beloved, we may hear this story and think, "How awful!" We all maintain a righteous indignation toward an act so filled with ignorance and so bereft of compassion. It is important, however, not to miss ourselves in the picture of this scripture. God is the great King who through Christ, has forgiven us of all of our transgressions. It is we who were more sin indebted than we could ever hope to repay. We must then ask ourselves, are we guilty of failing to forgive those who are indebted to us? This is not just a financial consideration.Iin fact, it is hardly about that at all. Do we walk around with ill will harbored against our fellow man and do we remind them, covertly or overtly, whenever we get the chance? Are we holding grudges against others? Are we judging others?
God has said that without extending forgiveness to others, none should be expected from him, Matt 6:14-15. The point is mercy received should lead to mercy offered.
Loving Like Jesus,