We often lose sight of the fact that forgiveness is in fact a metaphor, taking a word from one realm and potently applying it to another. Forgiveness is what banks rarely do to your loans. That word might have gotten a little more traction in our realm with the recent loan forgiveness which the government is proposing for student loans. Whether you are in favor of it or not, the fact that we are talking about forgiveness might allow the preacher an opportunity to talk about another debt forgiveness policy which is equally if not more scandalous in some quarters.
This week, Jesus pushes that financial metaphor just about as far as it can go. The metaphor almost cannot bear the weight and it seems to collapse on us. The preacher will find this challenging. Jesus seems to commend a wicked man who steals from his boss. But if you think about it, when we forgive someone, we are effectively giving away the treasure of heaven. The people who have sinned do not owe me, they owe God. When I forgive that debt I look like that dishonest steward.
But how will we preach this? Most of our folks will have their righteous sensibilities offended at the thought of it. But that the power of a metaphor. It makes us reexamine so many things about our language, our attitudes, and even ourselves. Have fun. Try not to get tarred and feathered this week preaching.