Summary: Understanding how forgiveness affects our relationship with God.
Series: Stories from the Kingdom
Text: Matthew 18:21-35
Title: “Forgiveness: God’s Way”
• There are two things that we all have in common, no matter how old we are, where we grew up, or what we do for a living we all need to be forgiven and to extend forgiveness.
• I want to also this morning draw a line from forgiveness to living an abundant spiritual life.
I. The Question About Forgiveness (21-22)
• Peter here has a real desire to live out the principles Jesus had just taught about how we are to forgive others.
• 7 times
o Rabbinic tradition taught that is someone sinned against you that you were required to forgive them 3 times.
o Based on Amos chapter 1
o Peter takes this common teaching doubles it and adds one.
• Jesus says 70 X 7
o Jesus is not saying 490 times you forgive someone and then on number 491 you are off the hook.
Luke 17:4 (NASB95)
4 “And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
• Forgiveness God’s way does not keep an account of wrongs; instead forgiveness God’s way is not natural but in fact supernatural.
• 2 things we have in common…
II. Being Forgiven (23-27)
• This king had allowed his servants to build up a certain amount of debt, and one in particular owed a debt of 10,000 talents.
o I’ve seen this amount translated in many ways and many dollar amounts, but let’s put it into terms of our economy.
o 1 talent = 15 years wages
o $10,000 a year, his debt would have totaled $1.5 Billion
• The servant was not able to repay so the king demanded that him and his family be sold.
o This would have not even come close to paying what was owed.
• The servant begs for mercy, asking that more time would be granted in order that he could repay his debt.
• But the king had compassion and instead of granting him mercy (more time), he extended him grace by forgiving the entire debt.
• We all owe God a debt that we can never pay back
o Our debt is sin
o Just like this servant we cannot repay that debt, we may ask for more time but there is not enough time or enough works we could do in a thousand life times to ever come close to repaying it.
• God, our Heavenly King, doesn’t just offer us mercy, but grants us grace.
o By forgiving our sin, wiping our slate clean.
o This can only happen because Jesus came and paid off the debt we owed.
o It is only by faith can we accept this pardon.
1 Peter 2:24-25 (NASB95)
24 and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. 25 For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
III. Forgiving Others (28-31)
• Having just been forgiven this huge debt the servant goes out and finds someone who owes him 100 pence or denarii.
o 1 pence (denarii) = 1 days wages.
o Using the same amount as before, he owed him $2,740
• However when this person begs him for mercy, not only does he not show grace like was shown to him, he refuses to even have mercy and has him thrown in jail.
• Why does the servant act this way?
o Forgiveness is foreign to us.
o Forgiveness takes effort and hard work.
• Our forgiveness took effort and hard work on the part of Christ
o This is no more evident than the night of Jesus’ betrayal when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Matthew 26:38 (NASB95)
38 Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”
• Forgiveness is also a choice we must make.
o We don’t forgive because we feel like it; we forgive because it is the right thing to do.
o That often means choosing to forgive each time that memory comes back, forgive and forget doesn’t mean you will never remember what happened, it means you will remember to forgive.
• Again Jesus made a choice to carry out the will of the Father, even though it meant doing that was the difficult choice.
Matthew 26:39, 42 (NASB95)
39 And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.”