Jesus' point hits hard. The man whose impossible debt is forgiven failed to connect the dots. He had been spectacularly forgiven. In deep deep trouble something that was astoundingly good had happened to him. And yet when he meets this other man who is in his trouble with him it makes no difference to his behaviour. This is a story for people who don’t connect the dots between saying to God: ‘thank you for giving me Jesus, for loving me so much that on the cross he died to give me eternal life for this spectacular good thing that has changed my life….and how I behave with the people I’m with right now – family, friends, neighbours. Everything that they have done wrong against me is so small in comparison. Jesus is saying: Something really BIG and wonderful has happened to you when you meet me. God’s thrown out his mercy like you would never believe…so you throw out mercy too. No longer should we say: Why should I care? Because God cares so much for me. And that should make you and me the most grateful merciful forgiving people.
Looking back I realize those people I have known in my ministry who did not believe they could ever be forgiven by God are those who most show this. This man was sent to me by a friend because he was in a terrible mess, he poured out a life of ruin and damage to others as well as himself andin tears he said: 'Can God forgive me'? It didn’t seem possible to him. And in the miracle of giving his life to Jesus and asking him to be Lord and Saviour he became an unstoppable force of mercy giving. It challenged us as a church. Because it wasn’t just his personal life that now viewed every need as a challenge. And it did. The Cambridge News ran a story trying to track down the taxi driver who had seen a man collapsed on the street, had bundled him in the car and taken him up to A and E. Sat with him. After treatment had taken him home. All out of the goodness of his heart. Well, of course it was Jack. And he involved us! He became passionate about orphanage children in Romania and took pictures of these children. In tears he called us to action. To send out medical supplies and food and so much else……and exhaustingly insisted we show mercy. Not just one year….but the next year. Thousands of needs cry out but the forgiven heart that knows the goodness of God just pushes on. Merciful people are truly happy people because they know the forgiveness of the king and they pass it on.