The Father’s Joy: Bigger Debt
Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”
“Oh? Tell me.”
“Two men were in debt to a banker. One owed five hundred silver pieces, the other fifty. Neither of them could pay up, and so the banker canceled both debts. Which of the two would be more grateful?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one who was forgiven the most.”
“That’s right,” said Jesus.
Luke 7:40-43 MSG
Jesus’ use of parables (earthly story with a heavenly meaning) is amazing. He makes His point in such a non-threatening way.
Then, to drive the meaning of the story home, He asks a poignant question of the listener, in this case, Simon. (In other words, “What’s the moral of this story?”)
Simon responds, rather sheepishly, now knowing the reason Jesus has stopped to tell the story. The truth has been driven home to his heart. And Jesus confirms Simon’s audible conviction by responding, “That’s right.” Just a simple “that’s right.” Not choosing to make a spectacle out of him.
It would serve us well to listen and heed Jesus’ teachings. He wants us to understand. That’s why He illustrates His Kingdom points with stories that we will identify.
But, not just a story…a story that brings conviction to our wayward thinking mind. He desires to have us back on track, thinking like He thinks, acting like He acts. Conviction is a good thing, however, it’s how we respond to conviction that matters.
In Simon’s case, Jesus illustrated forgiveness of a big debt compared to forgiveness of a smaller debt. Oh, both are thankful, as each, no matter the amount owed, could not repay the debt. But the one with the bigger debt is more grateful of his canceled debt. Why? He owed more which required more forgiveness.
I’ve been there. The one with the bigger debt which I could never have repaid. And it was completely canceled. No need to repay. Totally forgiven.
Overwhelmed, I desired to show the One who forgave my debt, my appreciation.
My love toward the “Banker”, the One who paid my debt, grows deeper. I live, responding to His forgiveness, with a grateful heart…wanting to give back to the One who paid it all for me, when I could not have paid a cent toward my debt.
That’s the heavenly meaning to this earthly story. See, Jesus paid our debt by his blood on that cruel cross. All my debt is canceled by Him forever. I’M FORGIVEN!!