Jesus said a really hard thing about unforgiveness in the parable we studied on Sunday…
You wicked servant!
I’ll admit: it is hard to hear and hard to say. Jesus only uses the descriptor 5 times in the Gospels (2 of them are from the same story!). So it is not a term He throws around loosely.
Jesus uses wicked to describe people who miss a critical characteristic of God. In Matthew 18, the servant missed that being forgiven, frees (and obligates) him to forgive! In the parable of the talents (Luke 19, Matt 25), the wicked are the ones who hide their talent— who don’t use it for the building of the Kingdom, who don’t take risks. In Matt 24, the wicked is the one who blows off Jesus’ promise to return and His instruction to be ready. And John 3 describes what we all know to be true– if we have done bad things, we want to hide in the dark. We don’t want anyone to see them.
How should we respond to these stories about the wicked?
First we should do the opposite– we should forgive, we should take God-sized risks, we should be ready, and we should bring things into the light.
Second, we should embrace the truth that from time to time we have all held on to unforgiveness and revenge, we have all kept our talent to ourselves, we have all done whatever we want and tried to hide it. We need to embrace that we are all a bit worse than we would ever care to admit, even a bit wicked.
Third, we have got to see that Jesus came for the wicked and the lazy and the vengeful and the fearful and the self-made-moral-arbiter and for you and for me WHILE WE WERE WICKED!!
God showed His love for us in that while we were STILL sinners (wicked), Christ died for us.
We can’t say it too much: God sees you where you are. God can restore you to Himself. God loves you more than you could ever hope…
because while we were wicked, before we got it all together, God made it right– on the cross, out of the tomb, for His great glory.
allow me a little, yee haw!