A long time ago, Jesus told a story about a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When the king began to settle the accounts, one servant was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents. A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years wages for a laborer! So, this person owed the king millions of dollars! The point is: this is a debt that he could not pay back. So, the servant fell on his knees and begged the king to have patience and mercy upon him. This apparently really tugged at the king’s heart. Out of pity for him, the king released him and forgave him that debt. That is crazy.
Pastor Timothy Keller once said: Think about all the shameful things you have ever thought, said, or done in your life. All the things that you are not proud. All of the things that have hurt others. All of the things that you would not anyone to know about. Now, imagine that all of those moments were uploaded to a YouTube video for all to watch. How would that make you feel?
I don’t know about you, but I would definitely be ashamed. The truth of the matter is this: God has the whole YouTube video in his hands right now. He’s had it before He created you. He will have it on the Day of Judgment when you can talk to Him about it. And, He’s holy. He hates sin, selfishness, and evil.
The Good News about Jesus Christ is that He has come into this world to cancel your debt. Jesus went to the cross to shed His blood to be your atonement and to win your redemption. By His blood He sets you free from your debt and grants you forgiveness of all your sins. Now, that is crazy love.
The servant was experiencing the mercy, grace, and forgiveness of God! At least, this is what Jesus was trying to get across to us!
But then the story gets crazy. The servant, even after he had received a cancellation of debt for millions of dollars, went out to hold grudges against people who owed him a hundred denarii. A denarii was a day’s wage for a laborer. In other words, these people only owed him a couple hundred dollars. He went out and seized these people. Choked them. And, took them to court. What is wrong with this guy!?
The king wasn’t happy. He called him in for a talk and said: “I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And now, shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servants as I had mercy upon you?” And, in great frustration the king had the servant delivered to the jailers until he should pay all his debt. And Jesus said: “This is how my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother/sister from your heart” (This story is found in The Gospel of Matthew 18:21-35).
If God forgives us of everything….I mean, everything…then we can forgive others. The power comes from knowing our own sin and knowing the magnitude of God’s love and forgiveness for us. I’ve seen and heard about people forgiving others for amazing things over the years by the power of this Gospel. They are things that are too disturbing to even talk about right now. I know this: if they can forgive others, I know you and I can do the same.