Summary: The Great forgiveness of God.
Forgiveness Matthew 18:21-35
1. This passage emphasizes the unpayable debt to God that
we owe. The Bible clearly identifies us as “helpless” as this
slave Rom 5:6 The prodigal son was helpless. Eph 2:1 calls
us dead in trespasses and sins. We owe a debt that is
unlimited. The legal term is bankrupt, spiritual bankruptcy.
In “A Forgiving God in an Unforgiving World”, Ron Lee Davis
retells the true story of a priest in the Philippines, a
much-loved man of God who carried the burden of a secret
sin he had committed many years before. He had repented
but still had no peace, no sense of God’s forgiveness.
In his parish was a woman who deeply loved God and who
claimed to have visions in which she spoke with Christ and he
with her. The priest, however, was skeptical. To test her he
said, “The next time you speak with Christ, I want you to ask
him what sin your priest committed while he was in
seminary.” The woman agreed. A few days later the priest
asked, “Well, did Christ visit you in your dreams?”
“Yes, he did”. she replied
“And did you ask him what sin I committed in seminary?”
“Well, what did he say?”
“He said, I don’t remember”
What God forgives, He forgets.
2. It also tells us that forgiveness is an act of grace. It
doesn’t say that the debt or sin was no big deal. He removes
our transgressions because of His own lovingkindness Ps
103:11-12 Eph 1:7 The forgiveness of trespasses is
according to the riches of His grace.
When we refuse to forgive we allow a bitterness to come in
and take root and it will effect every relationship we have.
Mark Mosley was interviewed recently about the murder of
his sister 22 years ago. A man who is mentally retarded
murdered her and this last week the Supreme Court said
that at his trial the jury was not allowed to consider his
mental retardation in deliberating his sentence. Mr.Mosely
said in the interview that it was today just as if he had just
learned about his sister’s death and that time didn’t take the
pain away. He opened wondered what could take that pain
away. Forgiveness takes the pain away when revenge and
time can’t. Time does not heal all wounds.
“True forgivers do not pretend they don’t suffer. They do not
pretend the wrong does not matter much. The 1st stage of
healing is release. You will know that forgiveness has begun
when you recall those who hurt you and you can wish them
well.” Lewis Smedes
3. His forgiveness is an example to follow: a lack of
forgiveness shows that we are ignorant of God’s forgiveness
In the parable of the two debtors, Jesus indicates that the
woman who anointed Jesus feet with alabaster perfume
knew more about forgiveness than the Pharisee. God’s
forgiveness had an outpouring effect on her. She responded
in love to Jesus because of that forgiveness Lk 7:47
“Forgiveness happens as past resentments are owned, not
disowned; are recognized, not repressed; are released, not
retained; and are woven into new bonding relationships with
others.” by David Augsburger.