Summary: A spirit of unforgiveness can put us out of God’s grace. We do not want this dark emotion to destroy us.


• SLIDE #1

• I do not know about you but it is not very comfortable trying to shed some light on the dark emotions we deal with in life.

• Guess what? It does not get any easier today.

• I know I spoken a lot about the things that people do to us that can make it very challenging to live out our faith. Today’s dark emotion is no different.

• We can get so hurt at times that being able to forgive others can be difficult. If we allow a spirit of unforgiveness to go unchecked in our life, it can do a lot damage to us.

• A spirit of unforgiveness can cause us to really end up living a sour life.

• We ALL face the dark emotions we have been examining but the real issue for us is HOW DO WE DEAL WITH UNFORGIVENESS.

• How do we deal with this emotion so that we do not harbor a spirit of unforgiveness?

• Today we are going to open the Word of God to Matthew 18:21-35.

• This passage is one of Jesus parables entitled by many, The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

• Let us being our journey in Matthew 18:21-22.

• SLIDE #2

Matthew 18:21–22 (ESV) 21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

• SLIDE #3


I. A question we all wrestle with and a decision to make.

• The question of whether to offer forgiveness to another person is a question we all wrestle with.

• This is nothing new.

• During Jesus day people wrestled with the same question. As a matter of fact, the teachers of the Law had an answer to the question.

• You MUST forgive a person 3 times according to them.

• On the 4th time of offense, no forgiveness we required.

• Using references in the book of Amos (see 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 13; cf. Job 33:29), the rabbis had taken a repeated statement by God against neighboring enemies of Israel and made it into a universal rule for limiting God’s forgiveness and, by extension, also man’s.

• If God forgives men only three times, they wrongly reasoned, it is unnecessary and even presumptuous for men to forgive each other more times than that.

• The question is how many times are we called to forgive another person? Peter was trying to come across as rather magnanimous by asking about seven times.

• What is your number? I know folks with whom the answer is one. Cross me once and you are never forgiven.

• The one or no chance crowd rationalize that they are protecting themselves from further hurt by giving a person one chance or less.

• Let me ask you this, how many times do you want to be forgiven? 

• Let us look at Jesus answer to Peter.

• Jesus says seventy times 7, or 70, 7 times. So 490 times!

• So to be a good Christian you MUST offer forgiveness to another person only 490 times!

• WHAT! 490 TIMES!

• Is the number important to Jesus? Was 490 the point? NO! Jesus is saying that we should ALWAYS be willing and ready to extend forgiveness to those who wrong us.

• Told you it was not easy.

• Rather than keeping track of the number of times we grant forgiveness, Jesus calls his followers to a basic mindset that is ever open to forgiveness and reconciliation.

• We will see this in the parable that Jesus shares with Peter.

• We have a tendency to want revenge or we want to be able to harbor the hurt, anger, and ill-feelings toward the one who hurts us.

• We have examined this subject before, unforgiveness really does not hurt the one who hurt us, it hurts US! We will examine that thought a bit later.

• I know it is hard to think of being hurt and then forgiving more than once, but remember we are called to do what is spiritually best for other people.

• "Keep on forgiving endlessly; don’t carry a grudge" is what Jesus was saying.

• Let’s turn to verses 23-27

• SLIDE #4

Matthew 18:23–27 (ESV) 23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.

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