Jesus told a story about a king who wanted to settle the accounts of all the subjects working for him (Matthew 18:21-35). One man had built up a debt of 10 million dollars. Since this was an impossible amount for him to repay, the king was about to sell him and his family into slavery to recoup some of the losses. The man fell on his face and begged for more time to begin making payments. This moved the king, and he not only rescinded the order to sell the family into slavery, but forgave the debt entirely. That’s Grace!
As the man was leaving the king’s palace, he ran into an associate who owed him 20 bucks. He demanded immediate payback of the money, and when the person was unable to come up with it, he called the police and had him thrown into debtor’s prison. When the king heard about this, he was enraged and had the first man arrested and sent to a horrible prison. The king said, “Should you not have had mercy on this other person, as I had mercy on you?” (verse 33)
The king’s Grace toward a serious debtor should naturally have inspired a display of secondhand Grace toward someone whose debt was relatively minor.
I thought of this parable when I recently read an article entitled, “What’s So Offensive About Grace?”* The author, Brandan Robertson, points out that some of us who celebrate the fact that we are “saved by Grace” are not very gracious toward others. Our secondhand Grace is not being passed on, which means we’re hoarding all of God’s grace for ourselves.
The article got me thinking about how powerful our secondhand Grace could be if we would allow it to flow. The author concludes his article this way:
As the Scripture reminds us, to whom much has been given, from him much is required.
May we, who have been lavished with Divine Grace, be those who embody and pour out Grace in every sphere of our lives.
To our friends.
To our families.
To our worst enemies.
And everyone in between.
That Grace forgives freely.
Radical. Powerful. Offensive.
It will save us all.
– Pastor George Van Alstine
FAILURES WANTED. Have you experienced failure in your life? Would you be willing to share anonymously? We’d like to interact around some true stories during our current sermon series, “LIFE AFTER FAILURE.” If you send your story to either of the Pastors’ emails, we’ll be sure to handle it with love. It doesn’t need to have a resolution or a happy ending; maybe we can learn more from a story that is unfinished. Thank you for sharing.