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Forgiven & Unforgiving (Matt 18:21-30)

by Mike Sanders

From Daily Bible Reading Notes 

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.

     Daily Bible Reading Notes: 

“And the lord . . . felt compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” 

Matt 18:27 NASB95

                                How should my forgiveness affect me?

     Shortly after his own forgiveness, Debt Free found his fellow slave, Debtor.  Debtor owed Debt Free a manageable debt.  Debt Free “seized” and “choked” (strong words) Debtor.  Without compassion, affection, or patience he demanded, “Pay back or else (28)!”  Debtor begged and made genuine and realistic promises to repay.  “But Debt Free was unwilling and . . . threw Debtor in prison until (30).”  

      Debt Free "did not want to" be patient.  Debt Free was unwilling.  Debt Free “threw” Debtor in prison “until.”  Debtor would remain there until someone else, family or friend, paid the debt.  Debtor would be tortured and fed little, if any, food.  Many starved.

     How could Debt Free behave so?  Think.  Debt Free had forgotten his own forgiveness!  If I fail to remember and value my own forgiveness, I will be unforgiving toward you, too.  Really?  Could I be so forgiven, and so unforgiving?  Peter says it is certain.  Having “forgotten” my forgiveness, I am “useless, unfruitful, and near-sighted to blind (2 Pet 1:4-9; 1 John 2:11).

     Remembering my own forgiveness is life changing (1 Tim 1:15).  Forgetting my own forgiveness  is, too.  I dare not forget (Matt 6:7; Eph 4:32).  This is why Believers, such as I, frequent the Lord’s Table (1 Cor 11:27-32). 

 

Michael Sanders is a former Church of Christ minister and a retired UPS pilot.




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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10