“Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.”
“And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.
The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’
And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.”
Matthew 18:23-30 NKJV
Forgiveness is the only way out!
Soon after Jesus had answered Peter's question regarding 'frequency' of forgiveness, he told a parable which presents forgiveness in a whole new dimension. A servant who owed the King an equivalent of $75 million and the same servant who is owed by another servant an equivalence of $65. But notice that in both instances, none of them could pay what was owed!
The one who owed the King was going to be sold along with his wife and children for payment to be made. Astonishing indeed! He was going to lose everything and that may not even be enough to pay the debt, but he was sure going to lose everything including himself in the process. Furthermore, how can he pay if he was sold? 'Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt'. Only forgiveness would suffice! The servant could not pay but compassion and forgiveness was given to him and he was 'released'.
But notice the contrast that followed: the same servant would not have compassion and forgive his fellow servant who could not repay him though it was as small as $65. " And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” But the question remains, how could he have paid what was owed when he was in prison, if as a free man, he couldn't? Forgiveness remains the only way out.
Let us take a moment and have a think about offences, wrongdoing and mistakes committed by others towards us whether great or small. Notice that they are in the past and that there is nothing the 'offenders' can do to go back in time to correct the wrong or offence. They can not take back their words even if they say so. The hurt that was done has happened and they are in the past and they won't be able to 'pay back' so to say. Only forgiveness will suffice! Forgiveness is the only way out.
In unforgiveness, we hold people in prison and often for a long while. "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.” But in forgiveness we release them. "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt"
Spend some time to consider and meditate on this passage. Who needs your forgiveness? Who do you need to release? Remember, in Christ we have all been forgiven.
Have a great week and God bless you. Amen.