Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Forgiveness is really the central issue in the Bible. Matthew 18:21-35 describes the need for forgiveness. In this parable, Jesus describes someone who owes a master so much money he could never pay it back. The amount described is enough to supply a fleet of 100 warships for about ten years. The master forgave the servant his debt. That servant, in turn, went to someone who owed him about three months’ wages and threatened him. It’s still a significant amount of money, but at least in this instance it is an amount which is possible to pay back. When the master heard about the conflict, he put the original servant in prison. The one who owed too much to pay back was now to be held liable for every cent, and to be imprisoned until he could pay off the debt. There would be no release for this man.
The debt of sin owed by every sinful person is enormous. We could never pay the holy God back for our wrongdoing. In Jesus, our debt of sin is forgiven. We are not held liable for it. We are set free.
How, then, do we treat those who owe us something? Are we forgiving, or do we rush out and attack those who have done wrong to us? All too often we are ready to attack others because of their sin, even though we ourselves wish to be allowed to get out of prison free. This should not be. It shows that we don’t understand the size of God’s forgiveness.
By forgiving wrong we do not excuse it. We show that Jesus has dealt with it. Sin is still sin. But forgiveness is real. May the Lord pour out his forgiveness.
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