Nov 12, 2013

We all once were

Today’s sharing is based on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, which can be found from Matthew 18:23-35.

Two types of relationships are prominent in this parable. Firstly, the relationship between the King and His servants. Secondly, the relationship between the fellow servants. This exactly how it is in the kingdom of heaven. God, represented by the King, being just and righteous is to punish sin and “settle” accounts with those who “owe” him punishment.


Two types of currency can also be seen here. The talent (mentioned a few times throughout the 4 gospels) and the denarii. The talent at the time would be equivalent to 6000 denarii and denarii, the daily wage of a servant. * So there are 365 days in a year excluding leap years. 6000 over 365 is slightly over 16 times! A talent is a lot of money, just imagine 16 years wages! The debt owed by the servant was beyond his capacity. Ten thousand 16 year wages were owed and it would have been impossible to repay. On the other hand, the fellow servant’s debt was 100 denarii, a small amount in comparison and was highly possible to be paid back.

How could someone that had been forgiven so much not have it in him to forgive? Forgiveness is never easy. Sometimes we feel that by holding on to the grudge we will have a reason to get back at them. We feel that by forgiving, we are letting them off the hook with no justice whatsoever. This is even more so when the person who wronged us is someone close to us. It is much easier to forgive a stranger. For me, most of it is due to the expectations we put on our close ones or even our view of others in light of ourselves. Even the slightest of things tick us off and becomes a stumbling block.
“For all have sin and fallen short of the glory of God” – Romans 3:23
We need to realise that all of us have failed God’s standards and that we were forgiven a debt that we could never ever repay. Like the servant who owed 10000 talents, we too were deep in debt and headed for punishment. It is God who forgave our debt and paid the price himself through Christ.
“For God so love the world that He gave His ONLY BEGOTTEN Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” – John 3:16
The relationship between the King and His servant is now reconciled and that is how it is between God and us as well. Part of living out the grace that has been shown to us is to do the same. In fact, it is almost a necessary criterion in coming to God.
“Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” – Matthew 5:23-24
All of us have sinned and will continue to struggle with sin as we undertake this journey of transformation with Christ. Failures, hurt and wrongdoing will happen but that’s where we as the church extend our salvation and forgive as God has for us.

Peace be with you, Amen.

- Alex Tan

*values taken from and

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