“Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Luke 7:41-43 (NIV)
How Much Debt?
How much have you been forgiven of by me? Did you have a big debt or just a very small one for which you needed my forgiveness? Lord, you know all my thoughts, words and actions. Yes, I do. Why then do you ask me these questions? You know the extent of my sinfulness far better than even I do. Yes, I do. It is important for you to think about the extent of your sin. Why is that? If you thought you had no sin, you would not need or want me at all. I don’t think that at all. I know that I am a sinner. I need no convincing on that point. That’s good. If you thought that you have just a little bit of sin, you may think that by your good efforts you might be able to pay me back. I know that I cannot pay for my own sin no matter how hard I would try. Haven’t you tried before? What do you mean? Haven’t there been times when you felt particularly sinful and thought maybe you should engage in some extra service for me because of your sin? Yes, I suppose so. How did that work out? Not very well. Why not? Trying to pay you back is just one more sin. Why do you think so? If I try to pay you back then I’m not having faith and believing that you have completely forgiven and cleansed me of my sin. No, you are not.
We could move this discussion along a little bit. Why do you want to? Well, I need no convincing about the extent of my sin. I have sinned against you and others in so many ways. It’s not like I’ve stopped either. All my sin is not just in the past. I’m a sinner now. I know that I will sin in the future. Yes, you will. So, I have a huge debt that I can’t repay. Not now, nor at anytime in the future. You’re right about that.
So, I’m nothing like the religious person who needs no or little forgiveness. I never want to have that attitude. If for some strange reason I think that for a moment then I will want to confess that attitude for the sin that it is. Haven’t you thought in this way before? Maybe, sometimes it is hard to even know my own sins. All I can say is that I know I’ve sinned against you in my thoughts, words, and actions. I didn’t have a small amount of sin for which you have forgiven me. You are right about that. I have forgiven you of all your sins of the past, present and future. You are completely forgiven and cleansed of your sin. You have no debt. It has been cancelled.
You say I have no debt? Yes, I do. Well, I feel something strongly toward you. What’s that? I feel a debt of gratitude, thankfulness, and love for you for all that you have done for me. This debt is not at all like an obligation; it is what wells up in my heart toward you. It is what makes me like the grateful woman who is washing your feet with her tears and drying them with her hair. I am at your feet right now. I love you. I give my life to you. I want to live my life with and for you. I have no need to ask, “who is this who even forgives sins?” You are the Son of God who died for my sin so that I could be forgiven, cleansed, and made able to live a new life in you. Yes, I am and yes, I did. Follow me. Yes Lord, I will.
Lord, I had a very big debt and load of sin I was carrying. My heart and mind and thoughts and actions were completely evil. I was far away from you, living a broken, sin filled life. Thank you, for bringing me near to you so that I could be forgiven of all my sin. Amen
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