Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Matthew – the Gospel of Fulfillment  Chapter 18     Forgiveness Extremes

This chapter tells the story of a Master who had a servant that had a debt that he couldn’t possibly pay.  This Master had compassion for the servant and forgave what could not be repaid.   Then this servant went to someone who owed him pennies by comparison and threw him into prison because he couldn’t pay.   Well, word got back to the Master and his servant was called back to him and the Master responded, “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 I had mercy on you?  And his Master, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.”

This parable tells us of the great forgiveness of our sins that God makes available to us through Jesus.  It is a debt we cannot repay but salvation and forgiveness are offered freely to us as a gift.   By comparison how forgiving are we to those who have wronged us?   Notice that the wicked slave would be tortured until he repaid what he could not repay.   This is a subtle indication that hell will be eternal for those who do you accept God’s gift of forgiveness.  But the challenge remains to strive to forgive as we have been forgiven.   Makes more sense instead of options like, “Not forgiving is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

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