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.
LET'S GET STARTED
1. Matthew 18:21-22 says, “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?
2. Jesus told a story in Matthew 18:21-35 about how God sees forgiveness. There was a king who was loaned his servants money. One day the king decided to collect the money that was owed to him so he called one servant who owed millions of dollars. But the man didn’t have the money. The king said, "You must sell all you own to pay me back. If that isn’t enough, then you and your family must be sold as slaves." The servant begged for more time. The king felt sorry for the man, completely forgave the debt, and let the servant go home. 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 demanded his money back. When the friend begged for more time, he threw the friend into prison. Think of the servant’s unforgiving heart as you listen to today’s program.
Now, listen to “Mercy Me.”
ALL ABOUT THIS EPISODE
When Liz crashes Grandpa's tractor, he learns an important lesson about forgiveness.
- Why is Liz disappointed at the fair?
- What was the problem with the tractor?
- What kind of damage did Liz do?
- To whom did Lucille give $3?
- What did Scooter use to carry his change?
SO NOW WHAT?
In this episode, Grandpa forgives Liz for doing something wrong (and costly!), but Liz doesn’t do the same for others. Forgiveness can be hard! In Matthew 18, Peter asked a good question about forgiveness. How many times do we have to forgive? Peter thought seven times would be plenty—but Jesus told him to forgive 77 times! That’s a lot of forgiveness.
God is a God of second chances. All throughout the Bible, God showed how much he loves his people by giving them many chances to turn back to him. He forgave them over and over again. And today, he shows you that same love and forgiveness! He loves you so much that he sent Jesus to take your place on the cross. This is the ultimate example of forgiveness! God forgives all your sins. Think about all the times you’re mean, think nasty thoughts, or don't offer to help. God forgives all of it. Think back to the story Jesus told about the king and the ungrateful servant. When someone asks you to forgive, do you forgive like the king, or hold a grudge like the servant? The next time you’re asked for forgiveness, act like the king. Offer to forgive. It's what God does every day.
Talk about this with your family: When you ask someone to forgive you, what two things should you say? What do you do when someone asks you for forgiveness?
When you ask someone for forgiveness, you need to say that you’re sorry (and you need to mean it). You should also say that you’ll try not to do the bad thing again. Saying sorry can be difficult, and not doing something can also be difficult. Sometimes you will fail. Then you need ask for forgiveness again.
When someone asks for forgiveness, we should thank them for coming to us and say, “I forgive you.” We shouldn’t just dismiss it by saying, “That’s all right.” That person is taking a big step, and we need to acknowledge what they’re doing and to let them know that they’re forgiven.
Is there someone from whom you need to ask forgiveness? Talk to your family about this and then be sure to talk to that person this week.
Answers to Story Quiz
1. He’s disappointed because his favorite baseball player Dizzy Snodgrass didn’t come to sign autographs 2. The accelerator was stuck 3. Grandpa’s booth was destroyed, and the tractor’s front end was totaled 4. She gave $3 to Scooter 5. He carried it in a sock.