Daily Reading & Prayer


May 5, 2024
Matthew 18:32-33 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’”


Have you ever felt the weight of a massive debt hanging over your head? It’s like carrying a burden that seems impossible to lift. In our world, we can understand this on a national scale with the staggering national debt of nearly $34 trillion (about $100,000 per person in the US). Can you imagine that? To retire this debt, every man, woman, and child in the US would need to contribute about $66,000. It’s a number so vast that it can feel futile to even think about paying it off. And to add to that, just the interest payments alone are estimated at a mind-boggling $395.5 billion this fiscal year. It can seem hopeless, can’t it?

Now, let’s dive into a story Jesus told about a servant who had an enormous debt. The debt was so massive that the king wanted everything the servant owned to be sold as payment. Picture that for a moment—losing everything because of a debt. It’s a dire situation, similar to the weight of our national debt. The servant, desperate and unable to repay, pleads for more time, promising to make things right. But let’s be honest, the amount was so huge that there was absolutely no way he could. So, what happens next is surprising. The king, moved by compassion, forgives the entire debt. Can you imagine the relief the servant must have felt?

But the story doesn’t end there. The forgiven servant encounters someone who owes him a fraction of what he owed the king. Despite receiving immeasurable forgiveness, he refuses to extend the same grace and compassion. It’s a stark contrast—a heartless response to a generous act.

Jesus uses this parable to teach us a profound truth about forgiveness. Just as the king forgave the servant’s insurmountable debt, God forgives us of our sins—sins that we could never repay on our own. It cost God dearly, as he sent his son Jesus to bear the weight of our sins on the cross. And, he freely extends forgiveness to us. But the parable doesn’t end there. It challenges us to think about forgivesness. We are called to forgive others, not because they deserve it or have repaid their debts, but because we have been forgiven much by God. Forgiveness isn’t easy; it requires humility, grace, and a willingness to let go of resentment and bitterness.

As we think on this parable, let’s examine our hearts. Are there debts of unforgiveness we’re holding onto? Are we willing to extend the same mercy and grace we’ve received from God to those who have wronged us? Let’s choose forgiveness, knowing that it’s a powerful act that reflects God’s love and transforms relationships.


Recognize that forgiving others requires humility and grace. Ask God to help you develop a heart of compassion and mercy towards those who have wronged you. If possible and appropriate, take steps towards reconciliation with those you’ve forgiven.


Lord, teach me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. Show me how to extend grace and mercy to those who have wronged me, just as you have shown me undeserved kindness. Give me the strength and wisdom to seek reconciliation where possible. Give me healing in my heart and relationships. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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