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As we have gone along together in our study of the Bible, we have learned that the teachings of Jesus have deeper spiritual truths. The Lord taught them through simple sounding parables, but they had profound spiritual consequences. It is the same with his teaching on forgiveness in Matt 18: 21-35. I hope everyone grabs hold of the meaning of this next parable, because it is easy to misunderstand until the last couple of verses are taken into your heart.
Here are the last two verses: “And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses”.
It begins with Jesus teaching, and Peter asked him how many times should he forgive a brother who sins against him. Peter asked if he should forgive seven times. Looking at it from our point of view, Peter sounded very generous, do you agree? Imagine Peter’s surprise when Jesus said he should forgive seventy times seven, or 490 times!
It’s like when the drunken person believes on Christ and is gloriously saved, the church gathers around them with love and compassion. But when they slip in their flesh the next week and fall into drunkenness again, but return to church the compassion from the church is not nearly as warm as the week before.
This is not what Jesus teaches, and for powerful spiritual reasons. Jesus commands us to forgive 490 times. Does this happen?
The parable continues with the king in the parable finding out a servant owes him what would be compared to a million dollars today. It does not say what happened to the money, but it was misused, squandered, stolen, who knows, but the king demanded to be repaid what was owed him by the selling of the servant’s wife, children, and all that he had for repayment.
The servant prostrated himself before the king, and asked for patience and he would repay all that he owed. The king was moved in his heart with compassion for the servant who had thrown himself down before him and released him and forgave him the debt.
The same servant then went out and laid hold of another who owed him a tiny amount compared to the large sum that was forgiven him by the king. The second servant made the same plea, but there was no compassion in the first servant’s heart and he did not forgive the other’s debt. When the king found out what had been done, the first servant was called to him and rebuked, “I forgave all of your debt because you begged me. Shouldn’t you have done the same thing to your brother, like I did to you?”
Here is the spiritual application to this parable. And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses”.
It was not money that was due, the king already forgave the debt. What was due was forgiveness from the heart.
There are many believers who have been turned over to the tormentors because they are harboring unforgiveness in their heart. Make the choice to forgive today. Pray this with me, “Father, I choose to forgive ______. I do this by faith, because your word says when I forgive I will be forgiven (Luke 6:37). The tormentor has no hold on my life anymore. Halleluiah. In Jesus name. Amen. (so be it)
When we choose to forgive, we are the ones set free. When we harbor a grudge, it’s like drinking poison hoping the other one gets sick.
Walking in forgiveness will bring you closer to God, it will enable the blessing to flow, it will allow healing to come. You can be set free when you choose to obey Jesus and forgive.
Until next time, God bless you and your loved ones.