Summary: There is a great debt that we owe, but forgiveness is offered freely.

Matthew 18:21-35

“The Great Debt”

“There is a great debt that we owe, but forgiveness is offered freely.”

Sunday Morning Sermon -- Southaven



VIDEO “Crazy Women” –

(Start with Text and Title)


That’s a crazy video isn’t it? I can’t help but think how crazy they are – both of them are NUTS – if you added just a hint of self-control, a touch of common sense or a bit of compassion the whole situation wouldn’t have escalated at all. I’m also haunted by the fact that I can relate to that video more than I care to admit. Take away the cars and the parking lot situation and add a different formula – a work environment, a softball field, a shopping experience, and I know that I relate more to that video, than I should. The thing is – if you were honest, given the right situation, you could possibly see yourself doing the same thing – a harsh word, a bad attitude, a small dent here, a small ding there – be honest, none of us are perfect.

It’s so foreign to the human mind to think that someone could do something to you or say something about you or even at you – and you could rise about and not fight back. Here’s the thing church – If God has set inside your heart an image that looks like him, that has the same character that he has – it includes forgiveness. It includes rising above, not because you are better than everyone else, but because you understand how much God has had to overcome in seeking a relationship with you.

Turn with me – if you have your Bibles to (Advance) Matthew 18:21-35 (read)

You have all heard this story – I’m sure of it. Let me set it up some of the back ground for you –

Jesus and his disciples are in Capernaum – surrounded by large crowds of people. The disciples hit Jesus with a couple of good question – “Who’s the greatest in the kingdom?” “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?” From that question comes a teaching moment where Jesus really turns the kingdom thinking upside down – Greatness is completely different in heaven than it is here.

Jesus and Peter are involved in this dialogue – and from that we get our text – Peter asks Jesus a really good question.

How many times shall I forgive my brother – I think a deeper question in the mind of Peter –


I. When Can I Stop? (21-22)

a. When am I justified?

i. Still considered righteous

ii. Still in line with God’s will for my life

iii. Still in tune with the faith that I profess

Is there a point where I can be alright with God, and not forgive my brother?

b. Peter offers a number

i. Seven Times? (Lord, Can I stop after 7 times?)

1. He’s being generous

3 was the limit according to the law. In the Old Testament, in some situations God made three the limit, the Jews took those few occasions and made universal law out of it.

Hey, that seems fair – 3 times – off with your head, these boots are made for walking – kind of mentality.

c. Jesus says – NOT 7 times but 70 times 7 – 490 (so there is a limit?)

i. The idea – there isn’t a limit.

Amanda is my wife – but she’s also my sister in Christ. If I take this simple principle and apply it to my marriage: work with me for a minute. In August we’ll be married 12 years (assuming we make it) – that’s 624 weeks. I’m a pretty good husband so say she only needs to forgive me twice a week that 1048 times – which is MORE than double the amount that Jesus says. There is not a time you can stop forgiving.

d. You will always get to forgive

i. Co-workers for the things they say – maybe their attitudes

ii. Your parents – maybe they made some mistakes

iii. Friends – maybe they say things that aren’t always uplifting.

iv. Marriage relationships –

v. People in the parking lot…

vi. Maybe even people you don’t like – try forgiving them.

e. You were not intended for un-forgiveness –

I have a 98 Ford Explorer – it’s good for city streets, maybe pulling a light trailer. If I took my Ford Explorer and ran it around the track a Daytona – it wouldn’t last very long. Not because it’s a piece of junk or that it’s a Ford (that’s not it at all). It was not intended for the race track at Daytona. It would not perform at it’s highest.

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