Summary: A look at forgiveness from our perspective, as well as from God’s perspective.
THE PARABLE OF THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT
Key Verse and Theme: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (Matthew 18:21-22)
1. Forgiveness is one of the most difficult parts of being a Christian.
A. What should I do with the person who continues to sin against me?
B. Jesus uses a parable to point to an important principle about God.
C. “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)
2. The servant who was forgiven by the king. (Matthew 18:23-27)
A. This servant owed the king a large amount of money, about 15 years’ wages.
B. The servant begged for the king to be patient and merciful.
C. The king forgave the extravagant debt, knowing the servant could never repay the debt.
3. The servant does not reflect the king’s forgiveness. (Matthew 18:28-31)
A. He sought out a fellow servant who owed him money.
B. The second servant owed a small amount of money, about 4 months’ wages.
C. The other servants told the king what had happened.
4. The king responds to the servants unmerciful actions. (Matthew 18:32-34)
A. The king says the servant should have been merciful because he had been shown mercy.
B. The king handed the servant over to be tortured.
C. The king revoked his forgiveness of the servant’s debt.
5. How do we relate to the characters in this story?
A. The king in the parable is representative of God.
1. God forgives our debts to Him, and our debts are large.
2. God has chosen to forgive our debts because we have asked for mercy.
B. The unmerciful servant in the parable is representative of Christians.
1. We have been forgiven of our debts.
2. We still hold the small debts of other people against them.
C. The second servant in the parable is representative of people who sin against us.
1. Their sins are small compared to our sins against God.
2. If we do not forgive them of their sins against us, we will not be forgiven of our sins by God.