Matthew 18:21-35
I can and must forgive because I have been forgiven.
Published July 8th, 2019
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Main point summary
Arc 21-35
Main point summary
Forgiving a brother is unlimited and possible because of the great forgiveness we receive from God.
Arc 21-35
Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came up
After Jesus' teaching on the little ones, Peter stepped forward
and said to him, “Lord, how often y will my brother sin against me,
and he asked Jesus, "Lord, IF my brother (a fellow little one) continues to sin against me (offend me),
and I forgive him?
THEN how many times must I forgive him?
z As many as seven times?”
Should I forgive him up to 7 times?"
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times,
Jesus answered Peter, "I'm not telling you to forgive a brother 7 times,
but seventy-seven times.
I'm telling you to forgive your brother 70 times 7 (either 77 times or 70x7=490). Either way, it's an unlimited forgiveness.
“ Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared
Because of this, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to
to a king who wished a to settle accounts with his servants. 1
a king who wanted to settle the debts his servants (literally slaves) owed him.
When he began to settle,
When the king began to settle the debts,
one was brought to him who owed him b ten thousand c talents. 1
one slave was brought forward who owed the king 10,000 talents (1 talents = 20 years' wages)
d And since he could not pay,
Since the slave couldn't pay the king back,
his master ordered him e to be sold , with his wife and f children and all that he had ,
the king/master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all his possessions to be sold
and payment to be made .
in order to pay against the debt.
So the servant 1 g fell on his knees,
As a result of hearing the news, the slave fell down on his knees before his master/king,
imploring him,
and begging him
‘ Have patience with me,
"Please be patient with me. Just give me more time,
and I will pay you everything.’
and I will pay everything back to you."
And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him
The king/master took pity and had compassion on his servant and released him
and d forgave him the debt.
and forgave him of the whole debt.
But when that same servant went out,
But then that same servant went out from there
he found one of his fellow servants
and found (searched for or ran into) a fellow slave (a co-worker).
who owed him a hundred h denarii, 1
This fellow servant owed him 100 denarii, about 100 day's wages.
and seizing him,
The first servant violently grabbed the man who owed him so much
he began to choke him,
and began to choke him
saying , ‘ Pay what you owe .’
and said, "Pay me the debt you owe me!"
So his fellow servant fell down
So, that fellow servant fell down at the man's feet (just as the man had done before the king)
and pleaded with him,
and he begged the man for some time.
‘ Have patience with me,
"Please be patient with me.
and I will pay you.’
I will pay you everything I owe you."
He refused
But the man refused to give him the time he requested.
and went
He went away
and put him in prison
put his fellow servant in debtor's prison
until he should pay the debt.
until the debt was repaid.
When his fellow servants saw what had taken place,
Other fellow servants saw the whole thing happen,
they were greatly distressed,
and they were greatly troubled by it all.
and they went
They went to their master/king
and reported to their master all that had taken place.
and told him everything that had happened between the two men.
Then his master summoned him
Then the king/master called for the first servant
and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
and said to him, "You are a wicked servant!"
I forgave you all that debt
"I forgave your entire debt (that you couldn't have possibly repaid)
because you pleaded with me.
because you begged me for mercy.
i And should no t you have had mercy on your fellow servant,
Shouldn't you then have shown mercy on your fellow servant
as I had mercy on you?’
just as I had mercy toward you?"
j And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, 1
The furious king/master turned that servant over to the prison guards (literally torturers)
k until he should pay all his debt.
until the entire debt was repaid.
l So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you,
In this same way, my Father will act towards every one of you,
if you do not forgive your brother m from your heart.”
if you don't forgive your brother sincerely (not just with your words).
searched for or bumped into?
what is significance of forgiving 7 times?
how could he be forgiven in v27 and 32c then unforgiven in v34?
how would the debt be repaid from prison?
1 peter 1:22
In response to Jesus' teaching about caring for offending brothers, Peter asks where he (and we) should draw the line in forgiveness.
Jesus' initial response was that Peter was to forgive without limit.
The parable Jesus gives explains this unlimited forgiveness.
A king's slave owed him 20 years' worth of wages, an amount he likely could have never repaid. Because he begged for mercy and time to repay, the king forgave the slave his debt.
But that same slave went out and found a fellow slave who also owed him a debt. Although the debt was large, it was possible to be repaid. When the indebted slave pleaded for mercy and time to repay, the first man refused and put him in debtor's prison until the debt was paid.
When others witnessed this exchange, they told the king who was the master of them all.
The king was angry with the man because although he had been shown mercy, he was unwilling to show mercy. Though he had been forgiven of a huge debt, he was unwilling to forgive a smaller debt. This will be how God the Father treats those who claim to be forgiven yet do not sincerely forgive.
Where do we draw the line of forgiveness? Nowhere. The sin debt we are forgiven of is far greater than any debt/offense someone can do to us. Therefore, because we have been forgiven, we can and must forgive others.
Outline used for preaching: 1. A question about the limit of forgiveness (21) 2. An answer for unlimited forgiveness (22) 3. An explanation of the basis of forgiveness (23-35)
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.