Read: Matthew 18:23-30
In today’s parable, we encounter a servant with a short-term memory problem: although he had been forgiven of a large debt, he quickly forgot the great mercy shown to him by the gracious king. Instead of showing similar mercy to his fellow servant for a much smaller debt, he demands immediate repayal and sends his fellow servant to debtor’s prison. If you keep reading this parable of Jesus, the forgetful servant ultimately learns a hard lesson: mercy begins and ends with the king.
Sometimes, we too have trouble remembering that forgiveness starts with God. We have the choice to extend grace and forgiveness to others because we have first been forgiven of our own debts and sins. We have been brought into relationship with Christ so that we can discover what it means to be in true relationship with our fellow humans. Yet we often want to take one without the other: We want forgiveness from God without extending forgiveness to others. We think we can find a personal relationship with Jesus even while neglecting authentic community with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Unlike the unforgiving servant in this parable, may we have long memories. May we be quick to extend the same mercy and forgiveness that we have so graciously been offered by our Lord and King. May we show up with grace and remember that we have all been redeemed by the same Christ, who is one Lord over all.