"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."
- St. Luke 12:57-59
There’s something in what Christ says here which may escape us if we’re not paying attention. When He says that if we’re being taken before a judge, we should “make an effort to settle” with our accuser, because if we don’t, we’ll end up in prison. It sounds as though Jesus is assuming that we’re guilty even before having our case heard!
He is, of course, referring ultimately to that day when we will stand before Him as our Eternal Judge. In fact, every one of us – if we’re coming to judgement all by ourselves – will indeed stand guilty before God. But while Christ's perfect sinlessness accuses us of our own sinfulness, He is also our advocate. If we’ve made peace with Him in this life, then we need not fear the sentence given to us.
There are some things we just cannot afford to put off, and living in a peaceful relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important business for us to settle.