Impossible Debt

And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. (Matthew 18:25)

We can’t begin to appreciate the good news of the gospel until we see our deep need. Most people, even believers, have never given much thought to how desperate our condition is outside of Christ. Few ever think about the dreadful implications of being under the wrath of God. And none of us even begins to realize how truly sinful we are.

Jesus once told a story (Matthew 18:21-35) about a king’s servant who owed his master ten thousand talents. (Just one talent was equal to about twenty years’ wages for a working man.) Why would Jesus use such an unrealistically large amount when He knew that in real life it would have been impossible for any servant to accumulate such a debt?

Jesus was fond of using hyperbole to make His point. That immense sum represents a spiritual debt every one of us owes to God. It’s the debt of our sins. For each of us, it’s a staggering amount.

This is what the gospel is all about. Jesus paid our debt to the full. And He did far more. He also purchased for us an eternal inheritance of infinite worth. That’s why Paul wrote of the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians 3:8). And God wants us to enjoy those unsearchable riches in the here and now, even in the midst of difficult and discouraging circumstances.

Without some heartfelt conviction of our sin, we can have no serious feeling of personal interest in the gospel. What’s more, this conviction should actually grow throughout our Christian lives. In fact, one sign of spiritual growth is an increased awareness of our sinfulness.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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