" 'Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?' And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."
These verses come at the end of a longer parable on the nature of forgiveness. The story features two servants, each with a debt he cannot pay. Both plead for mercy. The first is forgiven by the master. After being forgiven, the servant went to a second servant who owed him 100 denarii, a much lesser amount than he previously owed the king, and began to assault him.
The second servant fell on the ground and pleaded with the same words the first servant had spoken before the king. However, the first servant did not relent; he did not forgive or show mercy. Instead, he had the second servant thrown in jail. The first servant failed to understand the forgiveness he had been given by the king.
As Christians, we forgive because we have been forgiven. Forgiveness places a burden on the person who is forgiving; it is not always easy and it is not always pleasant. However, when we take a step back and see how hard it is for us to forgive someone, we gain a beautiful understanding of how much God had to give up and take on Himself in order to forgive us of our sins against Him. Mercy means we show forgiveness and never withhold it.
- In what ways does this parable depict the gospel?
- How does our own ministry to others show that we have taken the gospel seriously?
- Ask God if there is anyone whom you need to forgive. If so, pray that He would provide you the opportunity to forgive from the heart.