Tuesday, 13 March 2012
13th March 2012 Matthew 18:21-end
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who 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 bags of gold[h] 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. “At this 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 silver coins. 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 it 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 outraged 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 handed 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 or sister from your heart.”
Isn't it fabulous to know God forgives us, to know that when we make mistakes and are sorry God never holds it against us. It's one of the great gifts God gives us. But do we give it on to others?
I did this parable of the unforgiving servant with God Squad a few weeks ago. The kids really understood that God wants us to forgive others and give them the chances and love God gives us.
Well if the kids get it then surely we should. Its just about forgiving those who hurt us. Sounds easy doesn't it. But then there's war, what's that about? Then there's foreclosing on houses of those who struggle to keep up mortgage repayments, sound right? And how about when we think about war criminals, how do we cope with that? Suddenly we realise what amazing Grace God gives us; enough for us to share.
Jesus we thank you for your gift of forgiveness and ask for your help as we try to do the same. Amen