grace blog

Nothing To Pay

Recently I have spent more time reading through the gospels and I have found so many gems that were always there but I simply never noticed them before.

Take for example the Parable Of The Two Debtors (Luke 7:36-50). The story is about two men who owe a debt a creditor, one 50 denarii and the other 500 denarii. In Matthew 20:2, Jesus uses an example of a laborer working in a vineyards for one denarius per day. So, we can assume that in this parable, one owed fifty days wages and the other five hundred days wages. Each debtor owes a considerable sum for that time period but one owed substantially more than he other. However, in this parable, both debts were forgiven by the creditor, regardless of the amount owed.

The point of this parable was to teach Simon, a Pharisee, about the depths of God’s love and forgiveness. Jesus wanted Simon to see the woman that was washing his feet with her tears, the way God saw her. Yes, she was a sinner but so was Simon. She was like the debtor that owed 500 denarri and Simon was like the one that owed 50, but neither was better than the other. Both had debts in need of forgiveness.

After telling Simon the parable, Jesus asks him which man will love the creditor more. Simon rightly answered, “The one to whom much was forgiven.” Likewise, the woman that anointed Jesus’ feet was overcome with love for Jesus because she had so much more to be forgiven for.

But I still haven’t mentioned the word that stood out the most to me in this passage. That word is “NOTHING“. The line goes like this:

And when they had NOTHING to pay, he frankly (freely) forgave them both.

Luke 7:42a

Neither debtor had anything to offer their creditor in order to pay on their debt. Neither debtor had anything to brag about. They couldn’t contribute one iota to their cause. They were both at the absolute mercy of the creditor and the creditor forgave them both, FREELY!

This parable is a picture of the grace of God. Every single one of us is guilty of sinning against God. Our debt is great and there is absolutely nothing that any of us can do to help our situation. All we can do is fall down at the feet of Jesus. We need his mercy and forgiveness. None of us deserve it but He offers it freely to all those who believe. Jesus paid everything because we couldn’t pay anything.

Love is the great motivator of this story. The woman washed Jesus feet out of love, because He had forgiven her many sins. Likewise, we love God because He first loved us and we forgive the worst in others because God forgave the worst in us.

Why does God love us? Because God IS love and love is what God does.

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