“The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.”
A Cancelled Debt
The servant in Jesus’ story owed his master a debt he could never possibly repay. In today’s dollars, it was billions of dollars. Those listening to Jesus’ story must have been on the edge of their seats, wondering what happened to the man. Surely, he was thrown in debtors’ prison or sold with his family into slavery so that his master might at least recover a portion of his debt.
But, as he so often did, Jesus concluded his story with a shocking ending. The master took pity on his servant, canceled his debt, and let him go.
Jesus used this story to illustrate what our God has done for us. We have racked up a debt with him that we could never possibly pay. That’s how the Bible describes our sins against God—as spiritual debt. Jesus wants us to understand that we could never possibly make up for what we have done wrong.
But he could. And he did. Jesus paid our debt in full when he went to the cross. He suffered what we should have suffered for our sins. And, because he did, God forgives what we owe him. Every single time you and I have lied, cheated, stolen, been selfish or uncaring—that debt is canceled. Every single time you and I have failed to fear God, to love God, to trust in God—that debt is canceled. Every single time you and I have failed to love our neighbors as ourselves, failed to love our spouse or parents or children—that debt is canceled.
And how do you know? You know because Jesus has told you. When he died, he didn’t say, “It is started.” Rather, he said, “It is finished.” And by saying that, he was telling you that your debt has been paid for. Every single bit.
Dear Savior, thank you for your saving love and your willingness to pay my debt in full. Amen.