Day 21

Matthew 18:21-35

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since 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 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The 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 silver coins. 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 it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged 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. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed 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 or sister from your heart.”

How can we read this scripture and not find ourselves in the middle of it? Throughout the Bible there are many stories we read that give us great pictures of what not to do. This is one of those. In Jesus day it was common expectation for someone to forgive a person for repeated sin up to three times and then there would be no more forgiveness. Peter thought he had a big heart and that he was being extremely gracious when he says, “up to seven times”. But, the grace of Jesus is extravagant and so He tells Peter a parable. The king in this story gives us a picture of what Jesus has done for us. The King does something for us we don’t deserve. It doesn’t matter how big the debt of sin in our life is, the grace of the King is always greater than our debt. He gives us freedom when we have a debt to be paid. The servant in this story, on the other hand, does what we so often do when we forget what the King has done for us on the cross. When we forget about the freedom Jesus has given us through his sacrifice on the cross, we stop seeing people the way the King does. As a follower of Jesus we receive the extravagant grace of Jesus and then we are called to give that same gift away to the people in our lives. At CU Church we talk a lot about loving God and loving people. If we don’t see people the way Jesus sees people, it will be hard for us to walk in grace and mercy with those who are in our daily lives. Who is someone you’ve not seen the way Jesus sees them?