The lectionary readings for the coming Sunday are based around the idea of forgiveness. The gospel story is a strange one. The story is couched in extremes, done deliberately so in order to emphasise the main points. It is the story of the unforgiving servant…. The story goes: A man had many servants. The main servant owed his Master a huge amount of money (in our translations sometimes written as millions of pounds). Perhaps the servant was in our vocabulary an accountant? Who knows, the story does not go into detail. The Master asks for a statement of account, at which point the shortfall becomes obvious. The servant asks for forgiveness and the Master cancel his debt, the forgiven servant in a reversal of roles then refuses to offer the same charity to someone who owes him a much smaller amount. The purpose of the story is clear. We have ourselves been forgiven, but to be part of the narrative of the Kingdom of God, we must do the same – “freely you have received, freely give”.
Around the world Christians wear bracelets with the letters WWJD? Written on them. It is a reminder to us all when faced with any dilemma to ask the question – If He were here, What Would Jesus Do”?
Its one thing to ask the question, but yet another I would suggest to carry the answer through.