[Jesus said] “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.”
An Unpayable Debt
Devotion based on Matthew 18:23-25
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Ten thousand bags of gold. That is what Jesus said the servant in his story owed the king. At that time, a “bag of gold” was likely the equivalent of six thousand days’ wages. So, let’s do some math. An average day’s wage in the United States is around $100.00. This would mean that, in today’s money, one bag of gold would be worth $600,000. And the servant in Jesus’ story owed 10,000 bags of gold. That’s $6,000,000,000! There was no way the servant would ever be able to pay the debt he owed the king.
Which was precisely Jesus’ point. The servant in Jesus’ story represents us. The king represents God. Like the servant, we owe a debt we can never pay. It’s not a monetary debt. It is a spiritual debt. We have sinned against God so often and in so many ways that there is no way we can ever make up for it. Think of it—how many times have you and I failed to love God with all our hearts—even just today? Has it been dozens of times? Hundreds of times—just today? And then there was yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. And, there is the issue of how many times we have failed to respect God. And then there is the issue of how many times we have failed to trust God, and how many times we have failed to love our neighbor and … well … our debt of sin just keeps piling up!
And, it is important for us to be reminded of this. Why? Because knowing the enormity of our sin means that when we hear God say, “Take heart my child; your sins are forgiven,” we will appreciate it all the more.
And, here’s the truth: because of what Jesus has done, your sins—that horrible mountain of sins—have all been forgiven. All 6,000,000,000 of them … or even more.
Thank God for his enormous forgiveness!
O Lord, lead me to appreciate the enormity of my sin, that I might, even more, appreciate the enormity of your forgiveness. Amen.