Summary: We must forgive as we are forgiven. The same measure we use will be used to judge us.
Last week I talked about how we need to meet people where they are at and accept them as they are and love them as Christ loves them. And some might here this to say that we are to love all the down and outs in our society, but the opposite is true as well. If we are one of the people who are looked down upon we must love those who are looking down on us just as they are supposed to love us.
This week I want to continue along the same lines, but I want to take it just a little further. If we are to accept people as they are and love them as they are then we need to forgive them as they are.
Our own forgiveness becomes our priority
It is interesting to note the math that Jesus uses in this parable, for most of us denarii and talents have no meaning and so this parable looses some of its meaning. We tend to think of talents and denarii as we do our own denominations
1 talent=6000 denarii=1 denarii a soldier’s daily wage
10,000 talents=60,000,000 denarii
$5.25=$42 per day x 60,000,000=$2,520,000,000
The first slave had just been forgiven a debt that equaled a line item in our governments yearly budget. The biggest Powerball jackpot ever, was only a 10th of what he owed the King. In other words this man had been forgiven a debt that he could have never paid off. I can only imagine the happiness that this man felt as he left the King’s court. Imagine the amount of pressure that had just been taken off his back. He had just been forgiven an insurmountable debt, and for once he could see light at the end of the tunnel.
as he was leaving the palace the slave refused to take that same forgiveness and give it to others.
His selfishness kept him from granting even a meager portion of the forgiveness that he had just been given.
I wonder how it is with us. We each who claim Jesus Christ as our Lord have been forgiven a debt that we could have never repaid. Yet I wonder if we refuse to forgive others who are around us. I wonder if we spend so much time worrying about our own piety that we completely forget that we too have caused hurt, we too have called people names, we too need forgiveness from others just as we need to forgive others.
One of the most shocking things about this parable is the last part.
33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
We don’t like the thought that God would remove His forgiveness from us. After all, how could God take back his forgiveness its mine, I accept Christ, I come to church, I sing the songs, I put up with all these people, daggonit I deserve to be forgiven.
So what does it look like? How much would our attitudes have to change if we were to forgive all those around us?
Forgiving those who have hurt us.
Forgiving those who have taken advantage of us.
Forgiving those who have cause us pain.