If you have any experience of life at all, you will have observed and indeed suffered at the hands of others duplicity. We all see ourselves as right in our own eyes, even when we may be in the wrong. We all want things our own way, yet fail to give sufficient thought to others, and to the fact that we are all alike hopeless sinners.
We conclude our consideration of the 18th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel this week with the story of the unmerciful servant. A man owed a very large sum to the king who ordered him to be sold as a slave in order to pay something toward the debt.
The servant pleaded with the king whose heart was moved to pity and so cancelled the debt. But the forgiven servant saw only his own interests. When he met another man who owed him some money, he refused the debtor’s pleas for mercy and had him imprisoned. When the king found out about this hypocrisy and lack of mercy he revoked his forgiveness and handed him over to be tortured… [they were not at all nice in those days…]
The shocking thing is that Jesus Christ himself says this:
So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
To understand the severity of this we must understand the depth of our own sin in God’s eyes. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven all our sins past, present and future.
But having been forgiven a debt far greater than any of us can humanly imagine, we become debtors to God – to live as he requires us to live, and not as we want to live in our sin and selfishness.
God now sets the rules and they are completely opposite to the self centred self important ways and culture of this world.
The world says be vindictive; get your own back; take revenge. All of which appeals to the self in us.
But God and Jesus his Son say, FORGIVE.
And earlier in this chapter we find that Jesus says that we must forgive persistently. Every time someone offends us, we must forgive.
You see, God in Jesus Christ now becomes our example. Jesus went to the cross and paid the penalty for my sin. The penalty of everlasting separation from God’s love was removed by Christ at the cross. That love and that example now determine our lifestyle.
The hatred and self advancement, self justification, self imporantance and self aggrandisement have no place in God’s kingdom. NONE.
The only important Person is Jesus Christ, and the only rules are his rules according to his nature and example.
It is a complete revolution.
But that revolution had nothing to do with everyone else; with the government; with the system; with capitalism or socialism or any other system out there.
No, the revolution starts in me. The revolution starts in you.
The Jesus Revolution.