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Parables of Christ - Two Debtors - Luke 7:41-43

Lesson # Parables of Christ - Two Debtors - Luke 7:41-43
Study Material - Parables of Christ - Two Debtors - Luke 7:41-43

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Two Debtors
Luke 7:41-43

41 There was [en] a certain [tis] creditor [daneistes] which had two [duo] debtors [chreopheiletes] : the one [heis] owed [opheilo] five hundred [pentakosioi] pence [denarion] , and [de] the other [heteros] fifty [pentekonta] .
42 And [de] when they [autos] had [echo] nothing [me] to pay [apodidomi] , he frankly forgave [charizomai] them both [amphoteros] . Tell me [epo] therefore [oun] , which [tis] of them [autos] will love [agapao] him [autos] most [pleion] ?
43 Simon [Simon] answered [apokrinomai] and [de] said [epo] , I suppose [hupolambano] that [hoti] he, to whom [hos] he forgave [charizomai] most [pleion] . And [de] he said [epo] unto him [autos] , Thou hast [krino] rightly [orthos] judged [krino] . KJV-Interlinear

41 'A certain moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 'When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. Which of them therefore will love him more?' 43 Simon answered and said, 'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.' And He said to him, 'You have judged correctly.' NASB

The lender is God. God has loaned each one of us, life. None of us have ever earned it, and all of us have defaulted on our obligation to God in that we have sinned against God. Sin is our debt.

Now, from the creditors view, any amount owed is a debt. It makes no difference that it is a dollar or a million dollars. A debt is a debt and payment is required in order to eliminate the debt. However, mankind is unable to pay his debt to God. Mankind is insolvent. God requires payment in a currency which is acceptable by Him. That currency is spiritual and mankind can never come up with the appropriate currency to pay his debt.

Jesus Christ is the redeemer who went to the Cross and paid our debt in our behalf.

From the perspective of the debtors, they see their debt as relative. That is, if one owes 50 then he does not owe as much as one who owes 500.

Jesus plays on the view that Simon thought in his own mind - that he was better than the woman, that the woman had a reputation and was therefore a lessor person than he. Thus the debt differences between the two debtors. One owes 50 and the other owes 500.

But if a person cannot pay his debt, if a person is poor, destitute, insolvent, then it makes no difference if the debt is 50 or 50 million. Can't pay means cannot pay. The penalty for nonpayment of a debt is torture, imprisonment, being sold off to slavery for the debt and so forth. So the amount owed is not really relevant, since the consequences of nonpayment is the same.

And any forgiveness should be greatly appreciated by both parties, regardless of the debt owed. Especially since the debtor is unable to pay anything.

Jesus gives this parable from everyday life. People can relate it to their financial situation. At some point in ones life debt becomes an issue, and then repayment of it becomes an issue. Whether the debt is incurred as a result of a loan, or due to an accident you might have caused, thus owing another for their loss, makes no difference.

We all face debts, and at some point in our life we all face challenges like a huge storm, or illness, or something which can wipe us out leaving us destitute, or near so. That is when reality really sinks in, especially if you have lived a rather charmed life.

For some the reality of life becomes very real and they are quite concerned - the woman. For others, they see their debts as no debts They are not concerned or see themselves as not really owing much of anything to anyone - that is the Pharisee, Simon.

Mankind is destitute and in debt because of sin. If the debt is not paid, then eternal destruction is the result. If however the debt is paid (by someone else) then there is hope and redemption and a better future for the sinner. The debtor has only to believe in the work of the redeemer and then his debts are forgiven by the creditor as it were.

This draws our attention to payment of a debt and forgiveness of the debt. These are two different concepts. Jesus Christ went to the Cross and 'paid' the debt in our behalf. That did not gain us 'forgiveness' however. Forgiveness comes with faith in Christ.

When Christ went to the Cross He paid the debts of all of mankind. But all of mankind is not saved. Man has to believe in Christ in order to be saved. This is the forgiveness part of salvation.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves a bit.

Simon is a priest and should be aware of this. He is being set up and led to an answer which is the only possible answer (from his viewpoint). The one (the debtor/sinner) who perceives his debt as being great, will be more grateful to the creditor, than the debtor who considers his debt as small if he considers having any debt at all. Though both should be grateful.

Simon is put on the spot with his answer, 'I suppose.' He is being watched by all the people present. Jesus asks the question and Simon sees himself as being on the hot seat. He can only answer the question in one way, and he does it reluctantly.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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