Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.  But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

Matthew 18:23-30

This is a wonderful lesson in forgiveness for us.  The lord in the story is the Lord God.  We are the servant with an unpayable debt that was forgiven.  And we are the ones who go around not being willing to forgive others for wronging us.  I like to do the math when I see numbers like we are given here, and I think doing that sheds even more light on the situation.

The servant owed 10,000 talents.  A talent was between 50 and 110 pounds of gold.  That is, in today’s dollars, approximately $19,200,000,000.00 (over 19 trillion dollars).  That is an unpayable debt; there is no way the servant could ever pay that debt.  Just as we could never, on our own, pay our sin debt.  The servant asked the Lord for mercy and he received it.  He was forgiven of his 19.2 trillion dollar debt, just as we have been forgiven of our sin debt.

Then he went and threw another fellowservant into prison because he owed him 100 pence.  A pence has a rough equivalent of $.16.  Sixteen cents.  So 100 pence would be a whopping debt of about $16.  He threw a fellowservant in prison over 16 dollars.

Isn’t that like us?  We have been forgiven of a 19 trillion dollar debt but we can’t bring ourselves to forgive our brother or sister over 16 dollars.  Maybe we should think of this story the next time we are hesitant to forgive someone for wronging us.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Ben, thank you for doing the math for us! That really REALLY brought out the truth of it all. 🙂 I had a forgiveness issue come up just this weekend. Of course, I wanted to hang on to the fact that I was “right” to feel hurt. So glad that I asked Him to forgive me for THAT and let Him help me forgive too! Praying to keep forgiving faster and faster each time! God bless you , Ben, as you keep bringing us His truth!


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