Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Parable of the Two Debtors

Luke 7:41-47

41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”

S - Scripture

43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

O - Observation

Both debtors (translate: sinners) are forgiven of their debts. Jesus notes that the one who will be closer to him in the future is the one who has been forgiven more.

Two simple truths can be observed here:

1. Love is something that can't be earned. Love can only be given.

2. Sin must come before grace. Grace is only possible when we recognize our sin.

A - Application

The above photograph is of a debtor's prison in England. In today's American culture, we don't throw debtors in prison. Yet, unforgiven sin is burdensome baggage that many of us continuously carry. God's forgiveness is the key that will let us exit the prisons we have constructed for ourselves. The application is to accept God's forgiveness, forgive ourselves, and live as grateful people who are forgiven and forgiving.

P - Prayer

Lord, I have sinned against you and against others. At times I try to earn your approval and your forgiveness. Make me aware of my sin and let me experience your grace. Help me accept the forgiveness you offer so I can escape the prison of brokenness and unforgiveness. Amen.

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