May we be known as people who forgive, no matter what the offense.

The parable in Matthew 18 shows us how God’s love and mercy change us. In this passage, Jesus is telling us that the forgiveness of the Father (the king in the parable) is to be embraced and lived out in our lives. We are to forgive others because we are forgiven.
Forgiveness is at the core of the gospel. God knew that we could not be good enough to be saved on our own merit and that we could not pay the price for our own forgiveness (Ephesians 2:8). Jesus came to pay the price for us so we could live eternally with Him (Romans 5). Because forgiveness is a core characteristic of God, as His followers, forgiveness is to be one of our core characteristics as well.
In this parable, the debt owed to the king by the servant was an astronomical sum of money. In the same way, our sins before we knew Jesus grew to a huge amount. The servant’s debt could not be paid in a lifetime; likewise, we cannot remove our sins by our own efforts. 10,000 talents would be approximately $7.04 billion in today’s dollars. This immense amount of money reflects the hopelessness of the servant’s situation. Spiritually, this amount reflects our absolute inability to save ourselves and our dire spiritual condition in God’s eyes. The options open to the servant were prison time or forgiveness of the debt. The servant begged for mercy so the king would not throw him into prison. The king felt compassion on the servant and granted the request. He forgave the entire debt which was to never be repaid! We find out later in the parable that the king expected the servant to respond in similar ways to those who owed him money.
When we come to Christ for salvation, we ask for His mercy and when He gives it, our debt of sin is wiped out. We respond to His great gift of love and mercy with gratitude that then fuels us to treat others in the same way.
Forgiving others is very difficult and in the parable, the servant did not forgive another who owed him a very tiny amount of money. The servant did not let the forgiveness he was given change his heart. This servant was disconnected from the immense financial sacrifice of the king. We can be in the same situation. We can also keep God’s forgiveness for our sins from changing our hearts toward others.   The parable teaches us to stay emotionally connected to our forgiveness in Jesus and to become known as forgivers.
The servant lost the blessing of the king because he would not forgive another. This section of the parable is a reminder that unforgiveness is not an option in the kingdom of God. God forgave us and we are to forgive others.
May we be known as people who forgive, no matter what the offense.

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