I saw a familiar story this week . . but it had a different ending.
You may have heard this story before too.
It's sobering if you're a Christian. A follower of Jesus. One who claims to have had ALL your misdeeds, bad decisions, failures (aka sins) forgiven because of ONE who willingly made the ultimate sacrifice. His life for yours. No conditions. Just love. Received and given.
This is the story. I've rewritten the ending as I've seen it unfold . . bloody and pure, perfect and messy, joy-birthed and tear-stained, broken and whole.
As it could have been. As it is meant to be.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Forgiving Servant (adapted from Matthew 18:21-35)
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"At this the servant fell on his knees before him. '
Be patient with me Forgive me,' he begged, ' and I will pay back everything I can never pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him, 'Pay back what you owe me,' he demanded exclaim to him, 'You won't believe what just happened to me!' (But the fellow servant didn't hear the first servant. He knew what he owed and why the first had come.)
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he
went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt forgave his fellow servant's debt, just as he had been forgiven by his master.
"When the other servants saw what had happened, they were
outraged amazed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You
wicked righteous servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t And you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’
anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed love his master embraced him.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you
unless when you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”