Just a quick recap. The parable is of a servant who owes the king an obscene amount of money. An amount that he would never be able to repay. The servant begs the for more time to pay and the king has mercy on the servant and completely erases the debt. The servant is free. No prison, no debt, free. As the servant was leaving the king he sees one of his fellow servants who owes him money. He grabs him by the neck and yells at him to give him the money that he owes him. The king gets news of this, calls for the servant whose debt had been completely erased and turns him over to the jailers to be tortured.
A couple things about the story: First off the amounts that were owed. The The servant who owed the king owed him 10,000 talents. Since we don't function in talents lets put it in a number we can understand. 1 denarii = a day's wage. 1 talent = 6,000 denari. So 10,000 talents would be equal to 60,000,000 days of work. So about 164,383.5 years! Basically, there was no way this guy was ever going to come close to paying the king off. The Jewish audience hearing this parable would have been blown away by this number, it was extrme to make a point. So what about the other debt in the story: 100 denarii. If you look at that number alone thats still alot of money, 100 days wages. Take away what just happened with the king and I'd want that money too. But compared with the 10,000 talents, 100 denarii isn't much money at all.
But the big thing that stuck out as I listened to Rob was just that fact. The servant had just left the king. Just left after being forgiven of such an enormous debt. And he immediately forgot. He immediately got caught up in his own world. And then he saw someone who owed him. Someone who had money that was rightfully his. And he forgot. He forgot. How quickly do I forget. How quickly do I get caught up in my own world. Get caught up in my world of my rights and getting what I deserve and having people treat me the way I want to be treated and elevating myself up above others. How quickly am I consumed with me.
And here's the deal. The king took away what the servant owed. What was rightfully his. Because what was rightfully his was prison, for the rest of his life. There was no way the servant would ever pay that amount back. But the king threw out the book. But not the servant. He brought his book out and started keeping tabs of his rights. So what happened. The king held him to his rights. You want to play by the rules (i.e. law)? Then fine, you hold them to the law, I hold you to the law. You see here's the deal with us, we like that when it comes to us and God we don't get what we deserve. But when it comes to us and those around us, well then we'd rather keep track of things a little better. But you can't have it both ways. We've got to remember what we have been forgiven of and allow that impact the way we live. How could that servant have left the kings presence unchanged? Well you look at my life sometimes and I could ask myself the same thing.
Lately I've been listening to a lot of ancient hymns via Indelible Grace . Many of them are hymns that I have never heard of before. And many of them focus on a similar theme. Grace. As I've listened to these hymns they've reminded me how important it is to keep that at the center of our thinking. To wake up everyday and realize that we are saved not because have loved and chosen Christ, but because he first loved and chose us. Here are the lyrics to a couple of those hymns that have really impacted my thinking the past few months.
Father Long Before Creation