The Unforgiving Debtor

The Unforgiving Debtor

22 April 2018

GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery

Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven! 23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt. 26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt. 28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. 29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. 31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. 35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21–35 NLT)

Peter came to Jesus and asked him a question about forgiveness. I think Peter was trying to impress Jesus that he was really “getting it” about loving God and loving others. “Should I forgive someone who sins against me seven times?” Jesus said, “Nice try, Peter! But you’re still not getting it! How about seventy times seven!”

Jesus didn’t mean 490! He meant, “That’s the wrong question, Peter. It’s not a points scored system, it’s about your heart!” Remember when we read “The Lord’s Prayer” a few weeks ago? Remember Jesus told them to pray, “Forgive us our sins as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us?” Over a lifetime, how many times will I need to say, “Father, forgive me for I have sinned?” That’s how many times I’ll need to be willing to forgive someone who sins against me!


Father, This isn’t easy! We’re gonna need some help down here! In Jesus’ Name!

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