The Parables of Jesus
Part 6 The Parable of The Unforgiving Servant
Series Dates and Topics
- The Purpose of Parables
- The Sower of Seed Explained
- The Wheat and the Tares
- The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
- The Treasure in the Field and the Pearl of Great Price
- The Unforgiving Servant
- The Lost Son
- The Great Feast
Matthew 18:21-23 (NASB)
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
I pray that today’s message
transition from a head knowledge into a heart revelation
and through the power and the person of the Holy spirit
renew our minds and transform our lives in the name of Jesus.
Luke 17:1-4 (NASB)
He said to His disciples, “It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come,
but woe to him through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
Jesus teaches all the disciples about Godly forgiveness or forgiveness in the kingdom of heaven.
Based on my chronological study of these passages, Jesus had likely already taught the disciples “seven times a day”.
Q: Why, then, would Peter come to Jesus (in Matthew 18:21) with the same issue practically quoting Christ’s earlier teaching?
Peter took some time to ponder Christ’s very challenging teaching in Luke 17:1-4. Being a devout Jew and understanding laws, rules and commandments, I believe Peter had reconciled himself with the math. But Jesus was teaching a different way of thinking… repent, change your thinking!
Listen closely to what Jesus says to Peter…
Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB)
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
It almost sounds like Jesus is correcting Peter (you) alone because Peter missed the point. Forgiveness in the kingdom of heaven is very different than in the world or even in religion!
For this reason, the kingdom of heaven may be compared to…
- An Unredeemable Debt.
Matthew 18:23-25 (NASB)
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a …king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
The talent in this parable was worth about 6,000 denarii, so that one debt is 600,000 times as large as the other. More significantly, 10,000 (a myriad) was the highest Greek numeral, and a talent the largest unit of currency, so that 10,000 talents was the largest easily described debt (for comparison, the combined annual tribute of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea around this time was only 600 talents, and one denarius was a day’s wages, so that 10,000 talents would be about 200,000 years’ wages).
Remember the treasure and the pearl from last week?
The man/merchant sold all they had to purchase the treasure/pearl.
Christ set our value by paying all He had…
1 Peter 1:18-19 (NKJV)
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
For 1500 years, men would make sacrifice with the blood a lamb without spot or blemish to atone for their sins. Peter calls this, “aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers”.
Peter was headed the same route when Jesus made him think with the idea of seventy times seven in a day!
Galatians 3:13-14 (NKJV)
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
The idea of a spotless blemish-less lamb sounds good but there is no such thing in nature. Every animal has some sort of flaw, spot or blemish.
Christ did what could not be done in the natural… it was supernatural.
He lived a sinless life and died a vicarious death to end aimless conduct!
He paid the unpayable, He pardoned the unpardonable, He redeemed the unredeemable!
Q: But why? Why did He do such a thing.
A: Because of His great love? Of course, but there is an expectation of the one redeemed; to forgive others as freely as we’ve been forgiven.
- A Forgiving Lord.
Matthew 18:26-27 (NASB)
So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
There are 374 words in this parable and only 16 words (1%) are used to describe the Lord forgiving His servant.
Q: Why is this interesting?
A: Because, the message is not only what the forgiving Lord did, but how He did it!
We must learn not only forgiveness but forgiveness God’s way.
Seventy times seven in a day kind of forgiveness.
- A Forgiving Heart.
Matthew 18:28-35 (NASB)
But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
Q: How is this done, you may ask?
A: We are given the example with Christ on the cross. He prayed, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!
Q: Can you pray that pray and believe it?
God’s Eternal Scale
Proverbs 21:2 (NKJV)
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts.
Q: We often speak of a light heart or a light heartedness, but today I want to ask you, how much does your heart weigh?
- Imagine God has an eternal scale and He weighs the heart of each man.
- There is a perfect weight for your heart and it must be full of the love of Christ even for the one who offended you.
Immediately after teaching His disciples how to pray, Jesus taught them the principle of forgiveness.
Matthew 6:14-15 (NASB)
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.
Luke 12:48 (NASB) abbreviated
From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.
Q: Have we forgotten how much was given to and for us?
Ephesians 4:32 (NASB)
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Prayer for Congregation, if anyone here today is harboring any unforgiveness.
Invitation for Salvation
Raise Hands if You Prayed that Prayer