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Summary: Forgiveness – The Parable of the Two Debtors. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info).

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SERMON OUTLINE:

(1). Jesus and the Pharisee (vs 36 & 39).

(2). Jesus and the Woman (vs 37-38).

(3). Jesus and the parable (vs 41-43)

(4). Jesus and forgiveness (vs 44-50).

SERMONBODY:

Ill:

• Dale Carnegie once noted;

• That there was only animal that the grizzly bear would allow to eat with him.

• That animal is the skunk.

• Grizzly bears in Yellowstone Park;

• Often come to eat at the place where garbage is dumped.

• This huge bear can fight and beat almost any animal in the West,

• But it lets the skunk share its meal.

• Carnegie said that the grizzly bear;

• Surely resented the skunk and could have easily killed the little creature in any fight.

• No doubt the bear would have liked to have gotten even with him for his intrusion.

• But he didn’t.

• Question: Why?

• Answer: Because he knew the high cost of getting even.

• Most animals are not dumb.

• They are much smarter than many humans;

• Who allow their stomachs to churn all day,

• Their minds to storm all night;

• And their souls to turn black with hatred as they refuse to forgive!

Ill:

• Studies are showing forgiveness is not only good theology, but good medicine as well.

• According to the latest medical and psychological research,

• Forgiving is not only good for our souls – but also good for our bodies as well.

• According to the experts, people who forgive:

• Benefit from better immune functioning and lower blood pressure.

• Have better mental health than people who do not forgive.

• Feel better physically.

• Have lower amounts of anger and fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.

• Maintain more satisfying and long-lasting relationships.

• So forgiveness is not only good theology;

• But good medicine as well!

Quote: C.S. Lewis:

“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”

Quote: Sir William Temple correctly observed that

"Only one petition in the Lord’s Prayer has any condition attached to it.

It is the petition for forgiveness."

“...and forgive us our sins,

as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”

• The Christian message is very clear:

• God forgives us and in return he expects us to forgive others!

Forgiveness is at the heart of God’s character;

• And that characteristic should be seen and practiced in his people!

• For the Christian forgiveness is not an optional extra;

• It is a life-style that we live.

Quote:

“Every river has its source and every tree its roots”

• In other words everything has its origin, its beginning, its purpose;

• Although the parables of Jesus can stand on their own;

• To get the most out of them and to understand them fully;

• We have to look at their source, their roots.

• Never forget that Jesus told these parables, these two pronged stories;

• For a specific reason - to get people thinking.

• Many of us learnt the quotation:

• Quote: “A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning”.

• Or as one person misheard the quotation and quoted it as:

• Quote: “A parable is an EARTHY story with a HEAVY meaning”.

Actually both versions of that quote are true:

• Jesus told earthy stories that grabbed the interest and attention of his hearers;

• They were heavily pregnant with a deeper spiritual meaning;

• Often his hearers did not get this much deeper meaning;

• Unless they were willing to do a lot of thinking;

• Or unless they had hearts searching for the truth.

• Often the parables of Jesus had a time delay;

• i.e. Time-bomb that would explode in their hearts & minds at a later time.

(1). Jesus and the Pharisee (vs 36 & 39).

Verse 36:

“Now one of the Pharisees (named Simon) invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.”

• At the time of Jesus there were about 6,000 Pharisees,

• The word "Pharisee" meant "separated one".

• Pharisees were ordinary Jews, not priests.

• Equivalent to a modem day politician.

• They were known for a very strict and formal observance of the Jewish Law.

• Alongside the religious leaders the scribes and the priests,

• The Pharisees held power of all the people & no-one in their right minds argued with them!

• Pharisee’s always came from good families & rich families;

• Pharisees were well connected;

• They knew how to act in sophisticated circles.

• He had a sense of being on top of society.

Note: For Jesus accepting Simon the Pharisee’s invitation is a courageous act:

• Simon may have been indifferent regarding Jesus,

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