Summary: We need to remember / Never Forget that Someday we will be “summoned” / To give an account. • This does not necessarily happen on the other side. • It can happen any day as God responds to our unforgiveness.
The High Cost of Unforgiveness Matthew 18:21-35
Several years ago, we were looking to buy a new car.
• We found one we wanted, but we discovered that it cost more than we could afford.
• Most of us in life find that we have a limit to what we can or will pay for an item.
Jesus clearly illustrated the “high cost” principle in Matthew 18.
• And that’s what we are going to talk about today
• Basically, His message is this; “the cost of unforgiveness is higher than you really want to pay.”
Read Matthew 18:21-35
Reading about the disciples is fascinating
• It is obvious that 2 or 3 of the 12 had more engaging personalities than the rest.
• Peter, James, and John are considered the “A” team.
• If you closely follow James and John you can see that they were dreamers.
In Mark 10 they came to Jesus and ask about their positions in “glory.”
• They were dreaming about what was going to happen and not worried about what was happening
• But, Peter was practical and focused on reaching a goal.
Now in our text that we just read we see that Jesus had just finished teaching on the subject of restoring a brother (Forgivness)
• And Peter’s immediately response is How many times do I need to do this
• What’s the minimum / The requirements??
• Just exactly how many times am I supposed to forgive a brother?”
Now Tradition had taught him to forgive 3 times,
• So in his mind he thought that he was going above and beyond the requirements by saying 7
• He thought he was giving a Huge amount of Grace by increasing the required amount
In fact, he was probably looking for the possibly expected a pat on the back / The Atta Boy
• But instead, Jesus gave a New Perspective / and Different perspective about forgiveness
• One that probably blew His mind ? Really Messed his thinking up
• Jesus tells him that he should forgive him “seventy times seven!
How can anyone keep up with 70 times 7?
• Not only they “couldn’t”, but the clear message was they “shouldn’t”.
• After this, Jesus tells a story which can be summarized in a few key words.
1 -Enormity – (the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.)
• We find numerous examples of this in this story
A. Enormity Of the Debt – In the Original texts Jesus said that the servant owed his master 10,000 talents.
• Now the talent was the largest denomination of currency in the Greco-Roman monetary system
• And ten thousand was beyond belief.
• Our translation says “millions” of dollars,
• While others say, “several millions” of dollars, / say, “several billion” dollars.
The point is that this was a debt wasn’t going to get paid
• And the reason that it wasn’t going to get paid
• Was because this servant was never going to find a Job
• That would pay enough that he could pay off this debt
B. Enormity of his Release –
• As was legal at the time, the master could have had the servant detained until he paid that debt.
• The Master had every right to take everything the servant had in his household
• Wife,/ Kids / Possessions
• And he had the right to sell everything to try and recoup that debt
This was a common practice. / It was the Norm / It was the standard / Its what was expected of the man to do
• And along with this He could have thrown the man into debtor’s prison.
• But the Master had compassion / and “released” the man.
• This was Huge / Because the life of the servant was basically over until this release came.
C. Enormity Of the Forgiveness –
• Make no mistake and do not attempt to “super-spiritualize” this truth;
• The bigger the offense, the greater the forgiveness required.
This may not be something we like to admit,
• But it is a truth and we need to understand this fact completely
• There is a totally different level of forgiveness that is required for someone to forgive a $1 debt as opposed to a $1M debt.
The master held the note on a bill with no possibility of being paid
• And he canceled the debt
• He totally forgave the servant.
• Can you imagine the stir this caused?
2. Absurdity – All of us know what absurdity is.
• The idea of this idea of forgiving a Million Dollar Debt is
• Ridiculous / Irrational, / Illogical.
• But this is exactly what the Master does