Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Forgiving from the heart. - Matthew 18

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
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.[f]

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[g] 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.[h] 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."

In verse 35 Jesus explains how if God forgave us then we should forgive those who have offended us. What the servant did to the one who owed him money was pass judgement on him for that debt and ontop of that be hypocritical for asking for that money back then not paying his master back.

Offense is passing judgement on someone, and when we pass judgement we are being hypocrites because we were forgiven by God and should follow His example when dealing with others. If not, the end is punishment. This forgiveness should come from the heart and be sincere. In other words, if you see the person that offended you, you shouldn't be snearing at them in your mind. You should treat them as if they are family.

The sign of truly forgiving someone is being able to bless them. The servant should have blessed his servant by forgiving him of that debt, yet he didn't and the master found out.

It's better to forgive, then be offended. Jesus gave His life, so we could be redeemed. It's in a way insulting the the Lord when you go and get angry with someone, after He's forgiven us and released us from our own judgement.

Amen.

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