Matthew 18:33-35 (NIV) 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned 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 from your heart.”
After Jesus’ exhortation on how to approach one who has sinned against you, He followed with a parable of forgiveness. The parable tells of a master forgiving an insurmountable debt. The master called his servant back and rebuked him for not giving mercy after being shown mercy.
Every one of us is a testimony to the mercy and grace of God. The parable shows that we should in turn be merciful to those indebted to us. Then Jesus gave a severe warning in the text for today. The heavenly Father will have us “thrown in jail and tortured” until we pay our debt. This is the same as Jesus’ warning after His teaching the disciples to pray. “For if you forgive not men their sins, neither will your Father in heaven forgive you!” Forgiveness is expected of those who have experienced the forgiveness of God.
We find forgiveness in Christ’s own grace within us. He was able to even forgive those who had betrayed and crucified Him. He realized they did not know what they were doing. Those who have offended us often do not realize what they are doing. Even when people intentionally harm us, we need to forgive for our own sake. The torture we experience often is the mental repeating of the offending party’s words. Forgive for your own peace of mind.
Remember: Forgive because Christ forgave you when you did not deserve forgiveness. Forgive because it is Christ like.
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