April 22, 2023

Incomparable Forgiveness

Colossians 3:1-17

Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

—  Colossians 3:13

In our reading for today we are reminded that because of Jesus, we are called to live into the full life he has made possible for us. And a crucial part of our daily living is this: “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Jesus told an important parable about this in Matthew 18. A king was settling accounts with his subjects, and he found that one owed him 10,000 talents. The man was unable to pay, so the king ordered that the man’s entire family be sold. But when the man asked for patience, the king forgave his huge debt. The forgiven man, however, was not so generous. He found someone who owed him 100 denarii but could not pay. The second man begged for mercy, but the forgiven man refused and threw him into a debtor’s prison. When the king heard about this, he became angry and handed the first man over to the jailers until he should paid off his debt. As we think about this parable, it can help to understand that 100 denarii was 100 days’ wages, and that one talent was about 20 years’ wages. So 10,000 talents was about 200,000 years’ wages! In this way Jesus was saying that our debt to God is unpayable for us—and yet God has forgiven it. Therefore we are called to forgive one another, just as God in Christ has forgiven us (see also Ephesians 4:17-32).

Lord, you are gracious; your mercy has no end. Your forgiveness is greater than all my sins. Help us each day to share your love and grace by forgiving others. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Hernandes Lopes

Rev. Hernandes Dias Lopes grew up in a Christian home in Brazil. Following his 1981 graduation from Seminário Presbiteriano do Sul in Campinas, Brazil, he served two congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Brazil. In 2000, he earned a doctor of ministry degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Rev. Lopes has been the voice of the television program Verdade e Vida (“Truth and Life”) since 2006. In 2010 he was appointed Portuguese ministry leader for Back to God Ministries International. Rev. Lopes and his wife, Tinha, have two college-age children.

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