Summary: The true source of forgiveness is Jesus

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A Kingdom of Forgiveness

Matthew 18.21-35

October 19, 1997

Morning Service


I. King Louis XII of France: As a boy was mistreated, kept in chains, thrown in prison, after becoming king was encouraged to seek revenge, he prepared a scroll with his enemies names and placed a cross in red ink by each one, the enemies heard about this and feared for their lives, the king explained that the cross was not a sign of punishment, a pledge to forgive, Jesus is the ultimate sign of forgiveness because He prayed for His enemies even on the cross,

II. Jesus describes the true aspects of forgiveness: Jesus teaches His disciples and the church about what forgiveness is all about


I. The Inquiry about Forgiveness

A. Peter goes to Jesus: Peter takes Jesus’ other teaching to heart, applies to personal life, Peter asks about forgiveness in three ways - who, when and how many times, Peter states about forgiveness of a brother - fellow believer, this occurs only when forgiveness is sought,

B. Peter’s limit on forgiveness: Peter sets a limit, seven times - more than twice the Jewish law, Jewish law set three times for forgiveness, extremely righteous and generous

II. The Extent of Forgiveness

A. Jesus sets the tone: 7 times 70, Jesus was not setting a new limit of 490, this is play on Peter’s figure, Jesus lifted the limit on forgiveness, God always forgives, He is setting the example and the model,

B. Jesus resets the Law: Grace is unlimited, Law is not grace, grace keeps no record, no real thought about forgiveness - it is natural, forgiveness is both ready and gracious at all times, forgiveness is centered in grace and not forgiveness

III. The Example of Forgiveness

A. King offers forgiveness

1. King settles accounts with servants - King calls the servants, servants had a variety of roles and various status, these servants handled money for the king, king was settling accounts with these servants, specific set time for the servants to bring their collections, collection of taxes

2. Servant owes money: servants were officials & governors of the land, they were overseers of the kings affairs and collected taxes, one servant owes ten thousand talents, limitless amount of money - Greek term Murias: largest number in the Greek language, Roman taxes for all of Israel totaled 900 talents for one year, servant had embezzled and wasted the money,

3. King offers forgiveness: Servant and family are set to be sold, servant knew his guilt and king’s goodness, falls before the king, begs for more time & promises to repay, no possible way to repay, king is moved by plea & grants full forgiveness of the debt.

B. Servant refuses to forgive

1. Servant finds one who owes: Servant leaves the king, finds one who owes him money, he demands the money be paid, 100 denarii - 100 days wages in Israel, nothing compared to the ten thousand, the money can not be paid, fellow servant begs for mercy,

2. Servant shows no mercy: The first servant shows no mercy, chokes the second man, demands payment, throws him into prison for being unable to pay, punishment for being unable to pay

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