Summary: If I am unwilling to forgive can I still find forgiveness?
Read the passage… “Did Jesus really mean what he said in verse 26?
We live in a time when many don’t mean what they say.
How many times have you done as I have…telling your children over and over that if they don’t stop doing something or if they don’t do something, you will spank them or if you do punish them it‘s not even close to what you said it would be?
After awhile they know that you don’t mean what you say or you would have done something about it a long time ago.
How important is a spirit of forgiveness to Jesus? How important should it be to you and me?
Because we run across people, on a daily basis, who don’t mean what they say, I think we fail to take Jesus at His Word.
Matthew 6: 14,15 “14For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Luke 6: 37b “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Matthew 6: 12 “12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.”
I wonder how many of us would really want God to forgive us in the same way we are willing to forgive others who have offended us.
That’s exactly what this verse is saying…“Forgive me only as much as I am willing to forgive.”
Flip over to Matthew 18 and let’s look at a conversation that Peter had with Jesus and how Jesus brought the idea of forgiveness home.
In verse 21 of Matthew 18, peter may have been trying to impress Jesus with his willingness to forgive or he may have had a legitimate concern.
He asked Jesus just how many times should a person have to forgive…
**in other words just much do I have to say “it’s OK” before I can legitimately sock em in the nose?
Peter thought 7 times would be a gracious amount but Jesus turned the tables on him by saying “seventy times seven.” Jesus didn’t mean that you can stop forgiving someone after you have forgiven them 490 times. What He meant was that forgiveness has no limit and we should not be counting the times we forgive but focusing on how much WE have been forgiven.
I want to look at the idea of forgiveness from two different angles.
1. Look at God’s Spirit of forgiveness: vs. 23-27
Jesus then tells a parable to emphasize His point. He tells Peter about the Kingdom of heaven being like a king…v23.
This king calls one of his servant to pay up. This guy had an astronomical debt. 1 Talent= 16 years wages.
He owed 10,000 talents or 160,000 years worth of his wages…
What Jesus is saying is he had a debt that he can not possibly pay.
Because he could not pay the debt, the king ordered the servant, his family and possessions to be sold and the payment made.
The servant begged for mercy and received what he did not deserve…He didn’t just get some payment reduction or a loan adjustment…his debt was wiped clean.
How many of us would love for the bank to call and say… “we have forgiven your loan and you don’t owe anything.”
That’s what God did at Calvary…I owed a debt I could not pay and yet God looked at me with compassion and said “forgiven.”
If you are here and you know, without any doubt that Jesus is your Savior, you need to understand that’s what God did for you. “Forgiven”
The debt that you could not pay has been wiped clean by the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ and you no longer have to worry about how you’ll pay it back.
After this servant had been forgiven so much, he went on the hunt for a “fellow servant” who owed him some money. The idea of a “fellow servant” meant that he was a fellow Believer…Christian…family.
This man’s debt was small in comparison to what the first guy owed. This “fellow servant” had a debt approximately one millionth of what the first guy owed the king.
In other words, this guy had offended the first servant FAR less than the first servant had offended the king…HOLD ON TO THAT THOUGHT…
2. Look at the SIN of un-forgiveness and the consequences: vs. 28-35
There are 5 steps involved in the spirit of un-forgiveness
1. He searched for the one who had offended him…owed him something.
The difference of debt was 100 DAYS or just over 3 months worth of salary vs. 160,000 YEARS.
Why did Jesus give us the figures of the debt? Look at vs. 24&28
He wants us to see the huge difference in our debt [offense] to God [the king] and a fellow servant…family…NO MATTER how much someone offends me…sins against me it can never compare to how much my sin has offended God.