How Much Do You Owe? And Who Can Pardon It?

Christ, in Matthew, tells us of a parable of a man who owes an unimaginable amount (more than a life times wages) to a King. The King, being gracious, forgave the man’s debt. However, the man went out the next day to collect a menial amount of money (a day’s wage) from another servant, was unable to forgive the servant’s debt, and put him in jail. The King was furious and put the first man in jail because, after being forgiven his unpayable debt, he was unwilling to forgive a minor debt to him.

The parable Christ shared was used to show to importance of forgiving others because we have been forgiven by God. This is a common theme mentioned in the Bible, especially by Christ. However, I want to focus more on a certain part of the parable.

I have written about the problem of evil (Selfish Is As Selfish Does  and Hear No Evil…See No Evil…Speak No Evil) and many religions and world views agree there is evil in the world, but have differing opinions how to go about solving that problem.I want to paint a picture of what the Bible says about evil and how that problem was ultimately solved. (Preface: Before I start I must first say that what I am about to say is not how all evil will be handled, for there are still consequences and punishment for evil on Earth now and after. Rather it is more of an aim to show that Christianity is the best when it comes to handling the evil in one’s own life, the importance of doing so, and the beauty of being pardon of it.)

In the parable Jesus told there was a King that forgave a servant of an unpayable debt. Not only is the debt immense, but the King has no obligations to forgive the debt owed. The King has the right to punish his servant for his inability to repay the debt. Also we must not forget the difference in status between the King and a servant makes the forgiveness much more extravagant and meaningful. The Bible parallels this with humanity and God. We owe a debt for our disobedience to God that is unpayable. The magnitude of our debt can not be grasped. It must be looked at in the light of who this debt is owed to, the Creator of the Universe. Anyone would agree (if thinking properly) that when a person commits a crime they deserve punishment, and if one’s life is examined closely enough it obvious we have committed crimes against God. However, we are powerless to pay for these debts. In Romans 6:23 it states “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The beauty of it all is that since the beginning of time God had planned to give us a pardon for our debt. In Jeremiah 31:31-37, it speaks about a New Covenant that would be give to mankind in which God “will forgive their iniquities, and [He] will remember their sin no more.” In the Covenant it is also promised that this forgiveness would come through a sacrifice, but not of our own. The sacrifice would be Jesus Christ. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus says, “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Not only would our unpayable debt be forgiven, but it would not be of our own works, abilities, or possessions.

What makes this pardon even more grand and beautiful is that it is through a gift of God’s grace alone. Romans 5:10 speaks about us being “enemies of God”. Knowing that we are enemies the pardon becomes even more amazing. For when we are forgiven it is while we are enemies, and we are transferred from the domain of darkness to the kingdom of His Beloved Son (Colossians 1:13-14). Grace not only means free gift, but it also implies that we are undeserving of it as enemies of God (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 3:24; 5:15; 6:23).

How sad it is that many work so hard to clear their debt (sin) in their lives through money, works, meditation, and many other means. Yet before them is a free gift of God that forgives them of all their debt. And in light of this forgiveness should we not dedicate our lives to God in pursuit of living the way He commands because that is the way it was intended.

I will end with asking that you consider the gift God has offered by searching for the truth. It may take a lot of work, but I promise in the end it will be worth it because if it is true then it is not something to be taken lightly. I would like to end with a quote by Charles H Brent:

To be able to look into God’s face, and know with the knowledge of faith that there is nothing between the soul and Him, is the experience the fullest peace the soul can know. Whatever else pardon may be, it is above all things admission to full fellowship with God.

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Filed under Bible, Christianity, Jesus Christ, Morality

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