This morning I was reading in Matthew chapter 18 and verses 23-35 really stuck out to me. I had read this story before but as I dug a little deeper the significance really struck me. Basically Jesus tells a parable of this servant have a debt of 10,000 talents. His master forgives him his debt and sends him on his way. The servant who's debt was forgiven found another fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii and choked him, threw him in jail and had no mercy or forgiveness for him.
I read that in the past and would say, "That first servant is a total tool! He got forgiven and then he goes and doesn't even have the decency to forgive someone else?" But this morning I dug deeper and the meaning of the story stuck out so much more for me....ready to have your mind blown???
A talent (the unit of money in the story) was equal to about 20 years' wages for a laborer. So think about today's standards. If someone earns 15 bucks an hour and works 2,000 hours a year that would be around $30,000 a year. That means a talent in this day and age would be worth about $600,000 dollars! And in the story, the first servant owed his master 10,000 talents which would be around 6 billion dollars!!! Isn't that crazy?? I think Jesus specifically chose this large sum of money to get his point across. The master forgave this 6 billion dollar debt and allowed his servant to go on his way.
Then we see this servant approach someone who owes him 100 denarii. A denarii was about 20 weeks worth of common labor and if we use the same calculations as above it would be about 12,000 dollars in today's world. It is amazing to me that this evil servant would not forgive a 12,000 dollar debt when he had just been forgiven 6 billion dollars!!!
The point of this story that Jesus tells is to bring into focus a few things. First, the debt of our sin is unbelievably large. When we chose to reject the will of God and pursue sinful things, we owed him a huge debt! Let's says its like the 6 billion dollars. But the amazing thing is that God, just like the kind master, has completely forgiven that debt. God had every right to condemn us to eternity in hell but instead he makes it possible to get rid of that crazy huge debt.
But so many Christians act like the evil servant in this passage. We have been forgive our 6 billion dollar debt of sin but yet we can't forgive something small like the 12,000 dollars the other servant owed. When I think about it it just doesn't add up. But so many followers of Jesus today simply do not "walk the walk" they profess to follow. Which is why I think Jesus made it clear when he said, "not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)
It isn't enough to simply say the prayer of forgiveness. We need to be living out what we believe. Jesus made it clear that life change is the thing he is looking for. We have been forgiven a massive debt of sin. In turn I think we owe our lives to God in actually living out what we believe.