Had an interesting experience last night at our small group Bible study. We were discussing world events and the issue of whether we were within our bounds to hate Saddam, Osama, etc.
The passage we were looking at was Luke 7:36-50, which is an account of Jesus visiting a Pharisee’s house. Jesus told the following parable to Simon, the Pharisee:
Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?
What’s interesting to me is that most of us would probably consider ourselves to be the man 50 denarii in debt, not the 500 denarii debtor. I’d place Osama in at least the 500 denarii camp, if not more. Most of our small group agreed with that stance. (We also lumped Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Saddam Hussein in, for good measure).
But something really struck me about the passage: we aren’t owed the debt. It’s not up to us to judge. God can forgive any debt, no matter the size. It’s only incumbent upon us to “love [our] enemies, bless those who curse [us], do good to those who hate [us] and pray for those who persecute [us].”
And so, we prayed for Osama. We prayed for Saddam. We thanked God that He had revealed himself to Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer. We prayed that binny L. and Hussein would not be modern-day Pharaohs (“I will harden his heart “).
I’m trying, honestly, to pray that with full intent.
I’d still love to see ’em both MOAB’d, though.