Saturday, April 23, 2016

Luke 7:40-43

Luke 7:40-43
And answering, Jesus said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”  “Teacher, speak,” he says.  “Two debtors were owing something to a creditor.  The one was owing five hundred denarii and the other fifty.  While they were not having anything to pay, he forgave both of them.  Therefore, which of them will love him in greater abundance?”  Answering, Simon said, “I lift up that the one to whom he forgave the greater amount.”  And He said to him, “You judged rightly.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus teaches through parables.  There are many reasons to teach through parables.  First, when we teach by parables we can teach someone about a personal context with which they are involved while refraining from making the teaching personal.  Another reason is that a parable allows us to shape the context in which we want to teach.  Another reason is that parables and stories are usually easily remembered.  I believe that Jesus is employing a parable here in this case for all of these reasons.

Do you ever try and teach through parables?  If so, do you find it easy or difficult?  When do you use parables?

Second Thought:

In the parable, there are two debtors owing vastly different amounts of money.  The creditor does an amazing thing; he forgives both amounts.  Part of the fundamental teaching of this parable is the nature of forgiveness.  Forgiveness is not earned.  Forgiveness is a state granted and bestowed upon us by a higher authority.  If we find ourselves forgiven, it is not because we have repaid the debt.

Are you forgiven?  How?  What does it mean to you to be forgiven?  If we are forgiven in the sense spoken about here, what right do any of us have to look upon others in judgment?

Third Thought:

Another part of this parable is the differing amounts.  Both debtors do not have equal debts.  Forgiveness comes in differing amounts.  The assertion here is that the ones who are forgiven more will love more in return.  While that is correct, it that isn’t actually the fundamental teaching of this parable.  We cannot say for certain that the people forgive more will love more.  Some people are forgiven much and take advantage of the forgiveness!  The fundamental teaching by Jesus is that even large amounts can be forgiven.  No debt is too big to be forgiven.  That’s what Jesus is really getting at.  There is no threshold that we can cross such that we are now beyond the forgiveness of God.

Do you ever see people as unforgiveable?  Do you ever see people as having too much sin in their life to be forgiven?  When are such thoughts possible?  Why are such thoughts not only wrong but damaging?


Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 7:44-47
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