(Jesus said) "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt." Matthew 18:23-27
For most of us telephone bills are a normal part of life. They send them out, and we pay them.
Of course, as impossible as it may seem, there are times when the phone company can make a mistake in its billing. Such appears to be the situation for one couple from Damascus, Oregon. They signed on with Verizon in November and purchased two cell phones. They expected their first bill to be around $120. It wasn't. They had to argue down a bill of $698. After arguing that bill down they ended up cancelling the service in December and they returned their phones.
That should have been the end of the story. It wasn't. The couple received a bill for $2 million!
The company says it is resolving the problem but, in the meantime, collection agencies have been giving the couple a tough time, and their bank is reluctant to extend a loan to them so they may buy the house of their dreams.
Now I would love to tell you this was a one-time problem, and I would also love to share that nobody has been able to top this couple's outrageous phone bill. I would love to say both those things, but I can't.
Witness the story of Solenne San Jose whose phone company, Telecom, sent her a bill for 15 quadrillion dollars. That's a 15 followed by 15 zeroes. According to reports, it was quite a struggle for San Jose to get the phone company to admit it had made a mistake and her bill ought to have been $151.
Thankfully, both these billings were mistakes and eventually were resolved.
But there is no such billing error in regard to us. Our numerous sins of thought, word and deed have placed a great debt upon our souls. Ours was an obligation so large we could never begin to pay it off. This unpayable debt meant our hope of heaven, and not just our earthly credit rating, had been destroyed.
Seeing our hopeless and helpless condition our Heavenly Father had mercy upon us and sent His Son into this world to pay the price necessary to forgive our sins and save our souls. Because of Jesus' selfless sacrifice, all who believe on Him have their sins forgiven and have the hope of heaven restored.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You have done all that was necessary to save me from my sinful debts. In thanksgiving for what You have done for me, may I show a willingness to forgive those who have sinned against me. This I ask in the Savior's Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries