TOPIC: The Gift of Forgiveness.
Text: Matthew 18:23-35 (KJV)
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
KEY VERSE: “Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt… Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant…?” – (Matthew 18:32,33)
Forgiveness is a gift of God that every redeemed soul has the capacity to generate and give others freely. Materials for its production are always available and can be obtained freely, courtesy of the grace of God. Forgiveness is a gift that must be produced and used by all because, as someone said, “He who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass if he would ever reach heaven; for everyone has need to be forgiven”.
The parable Jesus gave here focuses on forgiveness. When it was properly used, it brought joy and relief. When it was denied and left unused, it brought pain and anguish. A servant owed his master ten thousand talents and he could not pay. After pleading for forgiveness, the master forgave him of the debt and set him free. Shortly after, the forgiven servant accosted a fellow servant owing him a hundred pence. He also could not pay and he appealed to the creditor servant to give him more time to pay. However, the man refused and sent him to be locked up till he would pay. Report of the unforgiving actions of the servant got to the master and he promptly withdrew the gift of forgiveness he had earlier given to the unforgiving servant.
Forgiveness is rooted in the unconditional love of God that was demonstrated on the cross at Calvary. Jesus died for sinful men and by this God offers us true forgiveness. We are the servants that owed much and at the same time received so much. We are the same people that fellow “servants” offend. Will we forgive them as we have been forgiven?
Failure to forgive others will attract unsavoury outcome to us. True forgiveness is a free gift from God that we must give to all who offend us today.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
They, who forgive most, shall be most forgiven.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: