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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: October 27, 2023

There’s an important detail in the parable of the unmerciful servant that helps us understand the point Christ is making, that detail being this: when the unmerciful servant is told to pay his debt, he doesn’t ask for mercy. He asks for patience, which is an absurd thing to ask for because the debt he owes is an intentionally comical amount. Ten thousand talents would be millions, if not billions of dollars in debt. He could live a hundred lifetimes and not even come close to paying it off. He understands the punishment he’s facing, but he doesn’t understand the debt he owes, which means he doesn’t really believe anything merciful is happening to him when the master forgives his debt.

The point Jesus is making here is deep but rather simple. Unbelief breeds anger and pride. Those who refuse to acknowledge the debt Jesus paid for them at Calvary will not receive a new heart. They will not grow the desire to show mercy because they don’t believe they’ve received mercy.

But forgiveness breeds forgiveness. If you understand the depth of your sin, you will understand the treasure you’ve been given when you hear that Christ has taken your sins away, that He has paid the unpayable debt you owed. If you believe in Jesus, you won’t ask for patience, you’ll ask for mercy. And when you receive that mercy, it will change your heart so that you desire to share mercy with anyone in your debt.

So in every day of our lives, may the Holy Spirit guide us to cry out for mercy, not patience. May we always recognize the depth of our sin so we can see the heights of Christ’s love. And whenever we encounter those in our debt, when our brothers sin against us, when friends and neighbors pierce us with their transgressions, may we always see the blood of Christ flowing from our own veins. May we see that the mercy Jesus gave us at Calvary belongs to them as well. May we forgive as we have been forgiven and show mercy as we were shown mercy. May forgiveness breed forgiveness in every day of our lives.

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