Today’s Bible Reading

Read Matthew 18:21-35

Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?—Matthew 18:33

More thoughts for meditation

The gift of God is eternal life freely given. The work of Jesus on the cross completes our justification. We no longer need to labor in vain, and succumb to the wages of that labor, death. We are fully and freely saved. Moreover, we are forgiven our debts too. God no longer holds our wrongdoing against us because we’ve been freed from debt.

God is not keeping a record of our wrong because of grace, we don’t have a license to sin, but rather an invitation to do the same for others. Jesus’ stern warning n Matthew 18 is that if we don’t demonstrate the same grace with one another, as if we haven’t experienced it with Christ, we are making a mockery of the gift.

One reason we may have the same response as the King’s servant did to the servant that owed him money is because we often see our offenses as less egregious than the ones committed against us. In a sense, we may think we are more deserving of God’s grace, or we may fool ourselves into thinking that we did something to earn it. Jesus is trying to humble us here to see the gift of eternal life as freely given and not earned.

Suggestions for action

The Bible is full of examples that warn against hypocrisy, such as the one demonstrated in the passage above. It is essential for our free gift of eternal life to not make us feel morally superior or righteous over others. This hardens our hearts and doesn’t allow the grace that we’ve received from God as a gift to overflow. If we aren’t careful, we’ll be back to the old way of doing things, laboring for approval, and entitling ourselves to it.

In Circle of Hope, we practically express the above teaching by literally forgiving one another’s debts. Our Debt Annihilation Team leads us to do this. Today, pray for the team (or make a contribution to their cause).

It’s Gordon Cosby Day at our sister blog Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body. He brought contemplation and action together in a way that sparked a movement and influenced many.