Pound for pound

I read about a court case in a small American town where a farmer got sued by the local baker for selling him one pound bricks of butter that actually weighed less than the full pound. At the trial, the judge asked the farmer if he’d checked the scales he used to weigh the slabs of butter.
‘I don’t use scales, your honor,’ he replied. ‘I use balances, and for a weight I use the one pound loaf of bread that I buy from the baker.’
The judge then declared him innocent and told the police to investigate the baker’s business practices instead.
It reminds me that Jesus taught us to be very careful about the way we judge others and weigh them up, because God will use the same weights and measures for us. That’s why he taught us to pray: ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’

This entry was posted in Forgiveness, Judgement, Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Pound for pound

  1. Stan says:

    Hello Bob,
    You quite correctly state that Jesus taught ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ Clearly, the forgiveness of OUR sins by God Almighty is conditional on forgiving others-right?
    How than do you reconcile this conditional forgiveness with what Jesus said in Ephesians 4:32 ‘And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake HATH FORGIVEN you’? Doesn’t this verse teach that we should forgive others because we are ALREADY forgiven with no conditions attached?

    • Hello, yes, this is a rather interesting point and on the surface can seems a bit contradictory. However, Jesus in the Gospels emphasizes that God’s forgiveness cannot be received by the heart which is itself unforgiving (Matt.6:12,14 and 18:21-35) and Ephesians says that we should forgive just as we have been forgiven. But I don’t necessarily see a contradiction when you consider that the words ‘even as’ in Ephesians mean more than ‘because’. The point being made here is that there should be a real likeness between the forgiveness of God to us and our forgiveness of others. The 2 must always go together.

      • Stan says:

        Hmm… Jesus goes on to say : But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mt 6:15. Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that the Jew was under the LAW and forgiveness was based on the “if”/”then’ principal, whereas today we are living under GRACE not under LAW? The conclusion would then be that the verses do in fact contradict each other, but the former verse does NOT apply today.
        it’s just like Rom 3:28 flatly contradicts Jas 2:24. Are both true? Absolutely, but the latter is not written for us today! Perhaps it would help you if you spent more time looking at Jesus’ heavenly ministry instead of His earthly ministry to the nation of Israel?

      • An interesting way of looking at this seeming contradiction. However it does raise certain exegetical questions: including whether Paul’s words carry greater weight than those of Jesus, and the value of the gospels in relation to the Pauline epistles. I still hold to the view that these 2 statements are complementary and that one cannot receive forgiveness without forgiving (repentance means a complete change of heart, mind and direction, including attitudes towards others), and one cannot forgive without experiencing God’s forgiveness. They are both part of the same work of God’s Spirit within a seeking soul.

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