Summary: A sermon that considers from the story of the unforgiving servant - How to forgive.

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Matthew 18:21-35New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

In the world of cosmetics blackheads are a problem.

Ever look through binocculers or a telescope the wrong way – the difference is stunning.

One makes something look a long way off the other brings things in real close.

When I was young I used to look at myself in the mirror up close – nowadays I tend to back off a little.

Why because the further back I go without glasses the less blemishes I see.

In cosmetics the secret to blemishes it seems is covering them up

Our bible reading this morning covers a much more serious issue.

How do we deal with blemishes in our lives and others lives?

The accusation and blame game are very live issues these days.

Whoever heard of a Politician putting up their hand and saying, actually, the mess in this country is my fault?

But the passage this morning asks us to go to the deepest deepest issues and to take an approach to offenses that goes way beyond most human activity and most so called normal human responses.

In the Lord’s prayer we pray forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us Matthew chapter 6 but as Max Lucado says

You will never forgive anyone more than God has already forgiven you.

I think there is something valuable here which is certainly contained in the bible reading this morning.

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