“The MERCIFUL KING & His UnFORGIVING SERVANT”

INSPIRED BY THE BOOK OF MATTHEW 18:23-35

*A POWERFULLY ENLIGHTENING ARTICLE ON THE PARABLE OF JESUS*

 “The Merciful King and His UNFORGIVING Servant”

The king’s servant was an inveterate loan seeker with a consistent habit of staying delinquent in the payments of all his loans while managing to accumulate a debt of over $10 million dollars, which the king a crownwas now asking for in full. The threat of his wife and kids being sold as slaves; his possessions being put up for auction; and his life being set in an everlasting dark mice infested prison cell, was now hanging in the balance….  But the servant, trembling with fear, fell before the face of the king, and with a heartfelt tearful cry, pleaded, “Lord, grant me a little more time and I will pay all.”  And the king, looking with pity upon the distresses of his servant, chose to forgive him the entire debt with no further payments.

 

This same servant, however, with his new found freedom, left the presence of the king full of excitement and extreme delight, but totally forgot to take some gratitude and appreciation along with him…. For as soon as he was out of the presence of the king, he identified a fellow co-worker, who owed him about $100. He demanded payment on the spot. The co-worker pleaded for mercy in the same manner as that servant pleaded before the king, but to no avail.  He was merciless!  And calling for the officers of the Kingdom, made a citizen’s arrest, causing his fellow co-worker to be thrown in jail until the debt could be paid.


Meanwhile, the other fellow co-workers confronted that servant, questioning his lack of mercy. But that servant responded by saying, “Keep to your own business!  The joker owes me! And I don’t want to hear any crap about how the king forgave me, because the king got plenty of money.  Matter of fact, with all that money he has, he should have forgiven me a long time ago…. If I had money like that, I could  forgive too.  But I don’t! And I need that joker to pay up!  Anyway, when the king forgave me the debt, I didn’t have any money.  And when I left his presence, I was still broke.  But the king got plenty. So it’s nothing for him to forgive me.  He has no clue of what it’s like to be poor like me.  So don’t lecture me with your supercilious pious hogwash!  I need my money!  And that’s all there is to it!”

This servant claimed to be poor, when he had managed to accumulate a 10 million dollar debt….  Surely this observation reveals the fact, that…..  being rich… or being poor…. is thoroughly in the eyes of the beholder.  But, moving right along…

His fellow co-workers certainly didn’t see the matter in the same fashion.  They considered the king to be very merciful. The servant had quickly forgotten how it felt to be on the other side of the fence.  The thought of how close he came to losing everything he had, never even crossed his mind.  But unfortunately, the actions of his life was now in the process of creating an unavoidable fate far more devastating than anything he could ever imagine! A fate that was activated when he, without any mercy, disgracefully threw his fellow co-worker in jail.  A man who earnestly, but hopelessly, pleaded for the same mercy which he, himself, had just received from the king.

His fellow co-coworkers decided to take the matter to the king. And when the king heard of the unfortunate incident, he summonsed that servant back to the court.  Now the servant knew that his fellow co-workers had ratted on him, but he was cool with that. He simply convinced himself, with great confidence, that the king wouldn’t take back his word.  “If the king has already freed me from debt,” he whispered to himself softly, “then he surely wouldn’t take it back. The king’s word is law. I’m sure the king will understand my situation….”

But that servant failed to investigate the entire letter of the law.  For in the law, it is written that, if the king should free any member of his kingdom from debt,  then that member is also required to forgive all who are indebted to him/her.  This makes total sense; for why should the forgiven servants of the king be granted the privilege of collecting debts from their subordinates, it they clearly couldn’t pay their own debts to the king?  After all, any monetary collections from their subordinates would had inevitably been seized by the king, anyway, in payment of their outstanding debts.….  Further more, the law points out that should any forgiven member refuse to free his/her debtors of all payments, then the law would have to reverse the sentence of that member and promptly require all debts to be paid at once. 

Well, the guards finally brought that servant before the king.  The servant knew that the king was a merciful king and had already forgave him for a significant amount of money.  Surely the king wasn’t going to inflict any severe punishment over something minor as this.  However, when the king discerned that the servant was showing no remorse for his actions, the king pronounced upon that servant, 5 words in which the servant had managed to avoid for a good portion of his life; 5 words in which he had finally escaped; 5 dreadful words that came back to haunt him….  “SEND HIM TO THE TORTURERS!”

He was so shocked to hear these 5 words that he failed to find the strength to fall before the king and beg for mercy as before.  His life passed before his eyes as he reminisced the joy that his family was living as debt free citizens of the kingdom;  the opportunity of a lifetime to start fresh, and the escape of a tortuous prison life.  But one decision eliminated the existence of that luxury.  One decision, made it so his kids would never have their father; one decision, put his wife in a widowhood position; and one decision, took away his joy and peace….  The decision not to set his debtor free! 

What would you do?……  It may not be money that someone owes you, but they do owe you something…..  What would you do? …….  Will you be Ruthless as the Servant?….. or…. Merciful as the King….