Sunday, 27 November 2011

Parable of the cruel, unmerciful king Matt 18v21-35

Parable of the unmerciful King Matt 18v21-35
  You have a king who forgives the debts of a servant X, then that servant X went and demanded payment from servant Y who owed little and then put him in prison when Y couldn’t pay. The king then was furious when he found out about what X had done and put X in torture chambers until he could repay. The king ended up acting more cruelly than X-he had X tortured, but X only put Y in prison ( which even today is, in appropriate circumstances, viewed as acceptable )
Both servant X and king did not do the most intelligent, pragmatic thing because how is anyone going to be able to repay if they are in prison? The king should have looked at the reasons for the debt crises. He should have asked for a list of debtors to X and found Y owed money and investigated why Y couldn't pay. He could have been like the dragons den dragons and studied the businesses of X & Y to see why they were failing and what could be done to turn them around & make them successful. The king did have a justice system where friends could report the injustice & the king ordered Y released. In a modern world if someone can’t repay then you would have to restructure their repayments- less over a longer time or just accept that it is bad debt. Would a king who had been forgiving in the first place really turn and do the worst possible thing of torturing servant X? To what end? Maybe the torture would so traumatise X that he would never be able to work again and so repay the debt.  Maybe the king knew that his demands were a bit on the high side so felt at ease with writing off some of the debt. The King needed to look into the reasons that X & Y couldn't pay. Ill health? A clever King would have looked for solutions to the debt crisis of both X & Y. Would X have been pushing his luck to ask for a loan to meet short term living costs? If servant X had been earning way more than enough then it wouldn’t have seemed necessary to act against Y. It is a problem in society if too many people refuse to pay their taxes or repay their loans; taxes pay for public services. There are issues about fairtrade. There are also issues about viability of the business. The passage reveals failure by each of the people mentioned to think fully & constructively. The Matt 18v21- story is monstrous. Maybe  it can be a test to see if the reader would spot that the King was acting more cruelly than servant X and since that was preposterous and not in keeping with a king who at first forgave then you are supposed to realise that a loving Heavenly Father god would never act in that way? The king should have realised that it would take more than just writing off the debts of X & Y but they would also need living costs. Y could have worked for X to repay the money. There needs to be a way of getting the money off the debtor without resorting to prison and

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