This week we look at the parable of the unforgiving servant as we continue our sermon series, “The Great Storyteller.” In this passage Jesus answers Peter’s question, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” This is a fair question and one we have all likely asked at some point. How many times should we forgive those who continue to wrong us?
Often when we ask this question it is through the lens of pain and brokenness, having been hurt by someone else. While other times we may ask this question through the lens of pride or entitlement.
In telling this parable, Jesus turns the table on Peter calling him instead to ask this question through the lens of his own forgiveness. He reminds us to consider our own debt that has been erased, not to hold on to the MUCH SMALLER debt that others might owe us. Part of following Jesus more closely is realizing the extent of that which we have been forgiven!
“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. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”