Act 2: The Servant Demands Payment
I can’t imagine the weight that was lifted from the shoulders of this servant after he was forgiven. His family was spared. His freedom was spared. He was truly given his life back. After this however, the roles reversed. The one who owed the debt became the one to whom a debt was owed.
One of his fellow servants owed him one hundred silver coins, or denarii. A typical worker would earn about 300 denarii in a single year so this servant owed him about 4 months worth of salary. This was an amount that could have been paid back over time. He could have very easily created some type of arrangement to have this money paid back. It may have taken a little while, but it would have been able to be paid off in this servant’s lifetime.
Upon finding this guy who owed him money, he became aggressive. The first servant grabbed the other and choked him, demanding his payment. He made the same appeal, please be patient with me and I will pay it all back, which we have just determined was entirely possible. However, the first servant refused to listen and had this man thrown in jail until he could pay it all back. What a short memory this man had.
What is fascinating in this story is how I see myself, and maybe you see yourself too. Think of this. How desperate was your situation when God found you? How much sin did God forgive you? How many times has God forgiven you over and over, many times for the same sin? How can you not show mercy to someone else?
The trouble with this servant is the same thing that troubles us from time to time. We forget. We forget what it’s like to need God’s forgiveness. We forget that God freely forgives. We forget that God’s forgiveness is not because of anything we have done but simply because of his grace and mercy shown to us through Jesus Christ. We love to be the receivers of forgiveness and mercy when we need it.
The crux of the matter is how often are we willing to give it when it is required? This servant failed. Let’s not make the same mistake.