March 26 | Matthew18:21-35
Seventy Times - that's a Lot!
by Elaine Pierce
I've read this parable many times (I bet you have too) and I always find myself thinking "how could the unmerciful servant have been so blind to his hypocrisy? The King has just forgiven him a HUGE debt, and he turns around and severely punishes a fellow servant who owes him much, much less. I would never do that, I proclaim self-righteously. I would never be that blind to my own sin."
And then I stop and reflect. What message might Jesus have for me, today, in this parable? Perhaps before I pat myself on my back, I need to ponder Jesus' words in verse 22, after Peter asks him how many times he has to forgive a brother who sins against him:
"Jesus answered, 'I tell you,'"
I don't think Jesus meant that we needed to keep a running tally of the sins of others. He was reminding us that we can NEVER repay what God has done for us! Remember the times in which Jesus walked the earth: the Jews were in bondage to the Romans. As we read the Old Testament, we remember that God delivered them out of Egyptian slavery, but they continually squandered his good gifts. They built idols to other gods. They disobeyed him in small things and in big things. And time after time, he forgave them. Perhaps they were more like the unmerciful servant than they realized.