Episode ThemeJustice-Seeking: How can we treat people fairly?
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
Matthew 18: 21, 22. 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.
Which is harder? To ask someone to forgive you? Or, to forgive someone else?
Jesus told this story about how God sees forgiveness: There once was a king who was willing to loan his servants money when they needed it. One day the king decided to collect all of the money that was owed to him. He called one servant who owed the king millions of dollars (imagine, owing millions of dollars to someone). The king said, "Pay up." But the man did not have the money. The king said, "No money? You must sell all you own to pay me back. If that is not enough, then you and your family must be sold as slaves."
The servant fell on his knees in front of the king and begged, "Please, give me more time. I'll pay everything back."
The king felt sorry for the man. He completely forgave all the money that was owed to him and let the servant go home. The king forgave millions of dollars that was rightfully his. Wow, that's forgiveness!
Unfortunately, the servant didn't understand what had just happened. On his way home with his good news, he met a friend who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed his friend and demanded his money back. When the friend begged for more time, what do you think the servant did? Did he do as the king had just done for him? No, he threw the friend into prison because of a few dollars.
He didn't get it. Sometimes we don't get it either. God forgives all of our sins. Think about all the times we are mean, think nasty thoughts, or don't offer to help. God forgives all of it. When someone asks us to forgive, do we act like the king or the servant? The next time you are asked for forgiveness, act like a king. Offer to forgive. It's what God does every day.