21 那時，彼得進前來，對耶穌說：「主啊，我弟兄得罪我，我當饒恕他幾次呢？到七次可以嗎？」22 耶穌說：「我對你說，不是到七次，乃是到七十個七次。23 天國好像一個王要和他僕人算帳。24 才算的時候，有人帶了一個欠一千萬銀子的來。25 因為他沒有甚麼償還之物，主人吩咐把他和他妻子兒女，並一切所有的都賣了償還。26 那僕人就俯伏拜他，說：『主啊，寬容我，將來我都要還清。』27 那僕人的主人就動了慈心，把他釋放了，並且免了他的債。28 「那僕人出來，遇見他的一個同伴欠他十兩銀子，便揪著他，掐住他的喉嚨，說：『你把所欠的還我！』29 他的同伴就俯伏央求他，說：『寬容我吧，將來我必還清。』30 他不肯，竟去把他下在監裏，等他還了所欠的債。31 眾同伴看見他所做的事就甚憂愁，去把這事都告訴了主人。32 於是主人叫了他來，對他說：『你這惡奴才！你央求我，我就把你所欠的都免了，33 你不應當憐恤你的同伴，像我憐恤你嗎？』34 主人就大怒，把他交給掌刑的，等他還清了所欠的債。35 你們各人若不從心裏饒恕你的弟兄，我天父也要這樣待你們了。」
If possible, read the whole chapter to see the full picture of what is happening here. Then focus on the following section:
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since 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“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The 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 denarii. 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 you back.’ 30“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed 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. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned 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 from your heart.”
- Jesus gave us the most compelling reason of all to forgive one another in the parable. A servant owed a king a huge debt and couldn’t pay back. The king forgave the debt and let him go. Then the servant met another servant who owned him a small sum, but he threw that man into prison until the debt was paid. This angered the king as it was hardly appropriate for one who had been forgiven so much to make such an issue of a debt which was so little.
- What a reminder when we find our hearts hardening toward a brother or sister after a few repeated hurts. God, the great King, has forgiven us an absolutely unpayable debt, our sins.
- Who is the one I find it hard to forgive? Meditate on the forgiveness I have received from the Lord. Imagine myself as the first servant. Ask for grace to forgive the other person.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little while longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Assign different person to play each of the characters of this parable of the unmerciful servant. Make a recording of it, or video is even better. Play it back and discuss the problem of this servant. Emphasize the need to forgive.