Luke 12:58 – When thou goest with thine adversary to the magistrate, as thou art in the way, give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him; lest he hale thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and the officer cast thee into prison.
Luke 12:59 – I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the very last mite.
Hello readers, hope you’re having a good weekend. Was reading this in Luke recently, and there is so much truth in what Jesus Christ said. I’ve read past this story many times, but this time it hit me in a different way. It actually is quite incredible. This really is our life in a nutshell. The very last mite must be paid, and you cannot get out until it is. You know what a mite is? A mite in the Bible refers to a “small piece of money”, it’s pretty much like our equivalent of the smallest amount of money you can have, in Australia that would be a five cent coin. Seemingly insignificant and worthless. Mite is also defined by Websters 1828 dictionary as “any thing proverbially very small; a very little particle or quantity.”
Of course, there are multiple applications of this story, both on a practical and spiritual level. But today I want to focus on the ultimate application, which is salvation. Because salvation involves an adversary, an offence, a debt, a judge, and a prison. To be clear, you are going somewhere. “When thou goest”. When you die you don’t cease to exist and escape judgment and accountability and consequences for your actions and your life. On earth, you are held accountable for what you do, and there are consequences for what you do, how much moreso with God?
It is incredible to me that people can talk about death and judgment like it ain’t happening. They cannot say that, but they speak like an authority. They speak like they know what’s after death, even though they don’t know. They haven’t died yet, nor have been able to talk to someone that has, so they truly are talking complete rubbish. Until you’ve died, you do not know. And they may say, so do you not know as well… except I do. I know, because I know him that knows. Because I believe the Bible, the word of God, the testimony of the person who created hell, who died and rose from the dead, the only one who truly has an authority to speak about matters of death, judgment and hell. Why not listen to someone who actually knows what they’re talking about?
It’s not if you go, it’s when you go. For we truly have an adversary, and that adversary has a legitimate claim against you and I. There’s an offense that you’ve committed, there is a debt that has been created. And in this culture of blame, justifications, rationalizations, excuses and absolving oneself, Jesus is saying here that you are the one that is in trouble, you are the one that has done wrong, you are the one headed to the prison. You can never get saved until you stop blaming and looking elsewhere, and recognizing your own debt to God, your own debt to righteousness and truth that you have created with your life, by your own will, by your own hand, by your own actions.
Satan’s name means “adversary”. You have an adversary, and he’s got a legitimate case against you. The truth is you and I have done something wrong, and more than just something if we are being honest. That sin has created a debt. And that debt must be atoned for, it must be settled, it must be resolved… and it’s gotta be done BEFORE you get to the magistrate, not after. This is a huge truth here. When you get to the judge, and when you stand before him, it will be too late to get your offense and your debt settled, to get deliverance from it. You know, this side of death is where your eternity will be settled. This side of death determines the other side of death. And once you die, it will be too late. If you die in your sins it will be too late forever. That is a hideous but unchanging but sure and final truth of the word of God, with the authority of God’s word stamped upon it.
After you die, you will face the magistrate, God Almighty, the most High. And he’s committed judgment into the hands of his Son, the judge, who is the Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:22 – “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:” You know why God put the right, and ability, and authority for the judgment of humanity into the hands of his Son? Because his Son is the only one righteous and perfect and able to do so. Jesus can make those judgments, because he is perfect. You’d hate a fellow sinner judging your life wouldn’t you? You’d feel like, why is he judging me when he’s the same sinner as me? But Jesus Christ did no sin. And he was the Son of man as well, and that is significant, because having identified with us, and lived as us, he is capable of making that judgment. He will do, and can only do what is right. And his judgment has already been revealed in his mercy, and this judge, before the day of judgment, came to this earth and endured the cross so that you can be saved beforehand.
Many people think they’re not that bad, but even the very last mite must be paid. Think about that phrase “the very last mite”. You know, just that one moment in time of pride, or selfishness, or lust, or greed, or whatever… it all must be paid for. That one little sin is enough to send you to hell. That tiniest little sin must be paid for. God is that holy, God is that good. He doesn’t just judge the murderers and rapists, he judges the pride and selfishness and greed. And in the world to come, there is only righteousness. So you will be out of place there, that is not your home, you won’t belong to a world that only belongs to the saved, to the holy, to the righteous, to the washed, to the cleansed, to the pure, to the perfect, to the just. You may think you don’t have a big a debt as someone else, and that somehow validates your life of sin, but rest assured, whatever your debt is, it must be paid for in full. Be it a ten thousand talents or the very last mite, sin will be judged, and the sentence is death and hellfire.
Your debt must be settled “in the way”. That’s what Jesus said. While you are “in the way”. That’s your life right now. That’s during this life, because you’re on a road, you’re on a journey, you’re in the way at the moment. The Bible says now is the accepted time, today is the day of salvation. You are surely headed to the magistrate, and there is an offense and condemnation upon you, the ruling is sure that will come upon you, but the good news, the gospel news it that you can get this settled right here and right now. What way are you in? Are you in the way of sinners? Are you in the way of “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”?
While you have breath, while you have life, you are in the window of time where you can be saved, where you can be delivered. You can get on the narrow way rather than walk the broad road to hell. In the way of life, you’ve got many chances to get saved and future proof and judgment proof your life. You know, when a Christian stands before God, his salvation is not at stake. Yes Christians will be judged, but it’s a very different judgment seat to the Great White Throne judgment seat. Christians will be saved, because they got their sin debt settled, their offenses were paid for, there was no case to answer for as it was settled by the Lord Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. His shed blood paid for their sin. There is still power in the blood. The life is in the blood.
It is funny how you’re going with your adversary almost like he’s your friend. You’re going with him. Rather than going with Christ, you’re going with your adversary. Maybe Satan is the guy you are “with” in life. Maybe you don’t even know it. But did you know you are going either with Satan or with Jesus Christ. There is no third option. Why would you go life with your adversary rather than the true friend of sinners. It’s funny how we make Jesus Christ our enemy, while we buddy up to the god of this world, who is leading us straight to judgment, straight to hell. Satan can’t clear your sin debt, and he won’t. This world doesn’t have your best at heart. Once you die, you will be forgotten. Nobody truly cares for you like you think. The prodigal son had lots of friends while he had money and was partying and sleeping around… but once he had “spent all”, where were all those buddies? Nowhere to be seen. They weren’t in the pig pen with him, they weren’t helping him, they didn’t care for him at all.
Jesus said once you’re cast into prison, you will not depart until you’ve paid the very last mite. And guess what, the sin debt is something you cannot pay… ever. Every single sin must be paid for, and the cost is so high and you have nothing to pay with. You know why the lake of fire is eternal? You know why it’s forever and ever and ever? Because you can never settle it yourself, no matter how long a time you serve. Time can’t serve and pay for your sin, only the blood of Christ can. You see, in our corrupt judicial system, you serve a few years for a crime and you get out, and the debt is considered paid. Murderers and thieves and rapists and so on get sentences and they may even be up to a life sentence, and that is to pay and atone for what they’ve done. See, you understand accountability and consequences and judgment much more than you think.
The very thing in this story is that Jesus spoke of the magistrate, the judge, and the officers. It’s a fact, standing before God is a fact, not an option. It is compulsory and mandatory and you cannot escape that truth. You will stand before God, and it is going to be the worst moment in your existence. If you are judged by man in the human realm for doing wrong, you surely will be in the eternal realm. Jesus was making statements of fact. Did you know not one single person and not the very least unpaid mite is getting by with God? Not one sin from Adam to the last sin ever committed will escape judgment. Did you know that? How scary is that. I look back at my life and I can live like I’m not going to stand before God. I live without a fear for the most High. I’ve sinned a lot in my life, and not the very least mite is going to go unpaid.
We are so deep in idolatry, we have no idea of the God we are dealing with. We have no idea of how serious this is, and what the stakes are. You are going with the adversary, you have done wrong, he does have a legitimate case against you, and you are in the way right now. Oh no, I am in big trouble. Oh no, I am standing before the God of the universe, the God of glory, the God of creation, and I’ve done wrong and I’m in trouble. But into this story Jesus said this, which is a salvation statement “give diligence that thou mayest be delivered from him”. Give diligence to what matters in life. Give diligence to getting your sin debt settled. Give diligence to the truth that God has given you. Give diligence to the sting in your conscience upon the preaching of the word of God. Give diligence to what matters in life. How utterly stupid we are to be in the way, and not taking care of the most important issue in life.
Salvation requires diligence. It is a diligent shepherd that is seeking you, it was a diligent Saviour that set his face like a flint towards the cross, it was a diligent Saviour that died on the cross that he might save all who believe on him. But you do have a part to play in it. When you’re told the gospel, give diligence to believe it, and obey it, and receive that truth. Don’t just let it go by. Don’t let Satan devour up that seed that was sown in your heart. Give diligence that that soil in there is good soil that is capable of recognizing and seeking and finding truth, that recognizes the need for deliverance from your adversary.
Salvation is deliverance. Maybe you’ll think you’ll be right. Maybe you think that the judge will rule in your favour. See, the unbelievably stupid thing is that we don’t have the wisdom or knowledge or understanding that we should have to see that we need deliverance, and we need it now, not later. We don’t have wisdom to see the case that is against us is not going to go our way. In this story, you and I are the ones that have done wrong, you and I are the ones in trouble.
Don’t expect deliverance from a corrupt judge. God does not corrupt judgment. If you die in your sins, you will go to hell, though he loved you so much he sent his Son to die for you. If you didn’t give diligence to your deliverance, God is not going to let you by, he doesn’t take money under the table to look the other way. He won’t pervert what is right and holy and true and good to let you in. Oh no, this is the righteous Judge of all the earth. Deliverance is what is missing in so many Christians. Because they don’t see the need for deliverance. They don’t want to be delivered. They don’t require deliverance.
It’s so crazy to go on in the way of life heading to the magistrate, heading to the judge and yet be living without giving any diligence to what matters, without giving diligence to your many offences and great sin debt being settled. Salvation is the greatest deliverance in existence. It is personal deliverance from sin. Look at these incredible verses in the word of God…
Colossians 1:13 – “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:”
2 Corinthians 1:10 – “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;”
What verses these truly are. So many Christians don’t live delivered, think delivered, speak delivered or do delivered. Because they ignored these two verses in the Bible. They can’t see the adversary. They can’t see the offenses. They can’t see the debt. They are too busy in their own way to see what’s at stake, what’s coming and the trouble they’re in. By the way, notice those two verses started with “who”. Who is that talking about? The Lord Jesus Christ, that is who. Your deliverance only comes through him, without him you cannot be and you will never be delivered. Deliverance from sin, from Satan, from your flesh, from this world, from lust, from alcohol, from drugs, from sexual sin… it all is only possible in and through Jesus Christ. And it’s by faith.
You can’t pay your debt, you can’t even pay off the very last mite, let alone the ten thousand talents. Jesus was dealing with a guy who dealt in money, who dealt in debts, a man called Zacchaeus. But one day, salvation came to his house, and he understood his own true debt, and that debt when paid, those offenses resolved in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a deliverance he had. His life was completely changed. In Jesus Christ is where deliverance lies for each one of us, may we give diligence to believe and lay hold by faith on what he has done for each one of us. We cannot pay even the very last mite, even that small sin which you think doesn’t really matter, it must be paid for. Only the blood of Christ can pay for our sins, it was the price of our deliverance, but so great a deliverance provided by so great mercy, and so great a Saviour.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)