Parable of The Unmerciful Servant

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy‑seven times.

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.  This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Forgiveness is something many of us want to receive but find it hard to give.  Jesus is talking about how great a debt one of the servants received and yet he couldn’t forgive the other servant for a much smaller debt.  What about us?  We owe God a huge debt, which we can never repay.  He sent His Son to die for our sins.  God took pity on us and our debt was cancelled when Jesus offered Himself in our place. 

Why don’t we follow God’s example and forgive those who wrong us?  If Jesus could ask God to forgive the people who wanted Him dead why can’t we forgive those whose offense is less?  Jesus taught us to how to prayer and one of the requests is asking God to “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”  How can we expect God to forgive us when we do wrong but we can’t do the same when it comes to others?  Forgiveness is two-way street.  If someone has hurt you and you find it hard to forgive that person, ask God to help you.  He will. 

Matthew 18:21-35, 6:12


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