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Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

Matthew 18:23

The debt of sin is not something Jesus wants to leave unsettled. If you have ever been in debt or are currently in debt financially, you know the weight that it can bring to your life spiritually, emotionally and physically. We tend either to live in a constant state of stress and guilt, or we ignore the debt as if it doesn’t exist until it’s impossible to avoid—which at that point it can be too late, and the consequences of ignoring it or not facing it have had long-term, damaging results on the future. Jesus, in response to Peter’s question about how many times we should forgive, jumps into a parable that is about to rock his and the other disciples’ understanding of the their own debt and the grace of Jesus towards them.

What is so amazing at the beginning of this parable is that the king wants to settle his accounts. This is daunting in one respect because the amount that is outstanding is 10,000 talents—or for us, an equivalent of 6 billion dollars. The disciples would have immediately understood how enormous this debt was for the first servant in this story. The disciples would have feared for the future of the indebted servant in this story, for any normal king of that day would have settled these accounts by either imprisoning or potentially taking the life of this servant. But they were soon to find out that the king portrayed in this parable was not your average king. This king wished to settle the accounts for very different reasons than most kings.

We have a king, not of this world but a King of Heaven, who wisely seeks to settle accounts with us. The gift of being human is a very expensive gift—and this gift comes out of His unlimited resources and wealth. It's this gift of humanity that we've spent elsewhere, not on Him, and wracked up a very large debt. We may not understand how large our debt is, but as we understand His holiness and His glory, we begin to gain a glimpse.

We need not fear today, for we do not have king who settles accounts like any other king. He sees debt as an opportunity to reveal His own unlimited worth and value. He sees debt as a way of revealing His extravagant riches of grace. He sees debt as an opportunity to restore us back to the true humans we were designed to be.

Guilt and shame are no match for His treasury of grace. Sin’s wages are expensive: the wages of sin are death, but His gift of grace always has more than enough to pay off death with the abundance of eternal life. He settles our accounts not with a mortgage of death but with His will and testament of life. When He died, His will was revealed and your name was written in His will. Because of His death, your name is now written in the book of life.

He wishes to settle your accounts.

// Pastor Josh Kelsey