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Showing posts from April 8, 2012

Debt Collecting

When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.' (Matthew 18:24-26)
Why did the debtor's wife and children become threatened when the king said the slave would have to go to prison? This raises serious issues in many minds, particularly in children's. And Jesus did say we must become like little children and children are not nearly so afraid to broach questions like this. It is the intimidated adults who are afraid God might get upset if we ask about such things.
One reason I can see is that Jesus wants us to perceive that everything and everyone that is the least bit connected to our perceived value or that is under our authority is in da…

Heading for Torture

For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. (Matthew 18:23)
One of the features that is too often overlooked in this story of the debtor is the sharp contrast between the attitudes of the king and the slave. In fact, we so naturally feel like gravitating toward the spirit of the slave ourselves that we believe the king in the end adopts the same viewpoint and methods of the slave in preference over his previous compassion and forgiveness. But in believing and teaching this about God we only add to our own debt created by our words.
If we really followed fully the example of the king we might start out with some who owe us with a seemingly stern and legalistic approach. This could be parallel to the pointing out of error in verse 15. But just as in that sequence, the whole purpose and intent of the king was not to shame and blame and humiliate the slave but to reconcile their relationship and induce the slave away from …