“For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents was brought before him. Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. “At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything! ’ Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe! ’ “At this, his fellow slave fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he wasn’t willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened. “Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ’ And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother from his heart.”
Matthew 18: 23-35
In Matthew 18, Peter piosly asks Jesus a question. He asks how many times he must forgive? Since the Pharisees taught that forgiveness had to be extended to the same person 3 times, Peter probably thought extending this to 7 times would surely earn him spirituallife brownie points!
Jesus answered Peter’s question with a parable (a story about ordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things, but with a message that has eternal significance).
Jesus tells of a King who wanted to settle up with his workers (kinda like sharecroppers). The first one owed about 10,000 talents-several million US dollars. The endepted worker pleas for mercy and for an extended time to repay what he owed. The king granted no extension, but simply forgave the huge dept! Another guy owed the dept- forgiven worker 100 denarii (US equiviance of at most $100). To put this in perspective, 100 denarii equaled about 1 days wages. In their economy, it would have taken 200,000 days for the worker to have paid back 1 talent, much less 10,000 of them. So, the worker’s forgiven debt was irrationally enormous compared to what was owed him!
So as the story continues, the forgiven worker grabs the guy who owes him the meager amount of money, shakes him down and imprisons him–all this despite his pleas for mercy and time to pay back a reasonably attainable amount of money!
So, a complaint is made to the king on behalf of the imprisoned guy. Of course the king was livid! He asks, “I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ’” Ultimately, the unforgiving, forgiven worker is handed over to be imprisoned until he could work off his debt, which was NEVER, because his debt was IMPOSSIBLE!
So it is with us–WE OWED A DEBT WE COULDN’T PAY–CHRIST PAID A DEBT HE DIDN’T OWE AND SIMPLY FORGAVE US! BUT He EXPECTS is to forgive ottlhers from out hearts (vs 35).
ALL of us struggle to forgive! When we do-we should remember the enormous amount of what Jesus forgave us of. This puts it all in perspective!
Think about it!