The kingdom of heaven is like a king who decided to collect the money his servants owed him. When the king began to collect his money, a servant who owed him several million dollars was brought to him. But the servant did not have enough money to pay his master, the king. So the master ordered that everything the servant owned should be sold, even the servant’s wife and children. Then the money would be used to pay the king what the servant owed.
But the servant fell on his knees and begged, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything I owe.” The master felt sorry for his servant and told him he did not have to pay it back. Then he let the servant go free.
Later, that same servant found another servant who owed him a few dollars. The servant grabbed him around the neck and said, “Pay me the money you owe me!”
The other servant fell on his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything I owe.”
But the first servant refused to be patient. He threw the other servant into prison until he could pay everything he owed. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very sorry. So they went and told their master all that had happened.
Then the master called his servant in and said, “You evil servant! Because you begged me to forget what you owed, I told you that you did not have to pay anything. You should have showed mercy to that other servant, just as I showed mercy to you.” The master was very angry and put the servant in prison to be punished until he could pay everything he owed.
This king did what my heavenly Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart. (Matthew 18:23-25)
Jesus is merciful, and no one can fully measure up to him. To help someone was never seen as a waste of time or inconvenience to Jesus, because his priorities were different than those of the world. We question whether or not we have time or resources to extend to mercy to someone. We wonder if justice will be done. We wonder if the person to whom we extend mercy will fully appreciate what is being given and use it wisely. But Jesus never met a needy person who asked for help and turned away. He even reached out to a thief on the cross with compassion as they were both being crucified. Jesus is merciful.
We are merciful because Jesus is merciful. We should not live a double standard of personally accepting Jesus’ mercy yet withholding any extension of that mercy. Our mercy is God’s mercy. We can be merciful because we have experience God’s mercy. If we want to live the life of Christ, we will also reach out to help.