TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 18:21-35

1 John 2:2 tells us that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.” Does this indicate that all of humanity, whether they reject God or not, will ultimately be saved by Christ’s sacrifice? This would clearly contradict many other passages, such as Jesus’ assertion that “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:14). So what do we make of John’s assertions that Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world?

Perhaps he means that the propitiation that Christ has supplied is limitless and free enough to cover any and all of us. Perhaps he means that we must take this mercy that we have been given and pour it out onto the world around us as well.

The wicked servant in today’s reading failed to live out this principle. He is more than willing that his master be propitiated for him. Oh, what sweet relief it is to have his crushing debt removed! But rather than passing on that propitiation and finding it within his own heart to be appeased for his brother, the wicked servant seizes his fellow servant and chokes him.

The propitiation that we have in Christ is not for us to hoard for ourselves; it is to be shared with the whole world. We are not to bow our heads in gratitude and lift our voices in celebration of God’s mercy, only to go out and enforce swift and merciless judgments on our debtors in the world. We are not to cherish God’s forgiveness only to go out and rain righteous indignation down on the world around us.

The propitiation that we have in Christ is not only for us, but also for the whole world. We no more deserve it than the rest of the world does, and we must not keep it to ourselves. We have received it; now we must pass it on.

Today, I will…look not for opportunities to enforce swift justice but look for opportunities to show the mercy that God would extend to all of us.