Thanks for taking time to come to this site. It is my sincerest desire that it will be a blessing to you. In this lesson we will look at the parable of Jesus, on forgiveness. Forgiveness is a very powerful thing. It can set a person free and restore relationships. It can change the course of life for the better when the principles behind it are understood and applied. An unforgiving spirit on the other hand is a poison that will destroy and hurt relationships over and over. Do you need to forgive someone? Do you know someone who would benefit from this site? If you do, then tell them about it.
The Foundation of Forgiveness
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)
As with anything of strength and value, forgiveness must have a foundation. The foundation of forgiveness is rooted in morality and doing what’s right. It’s very roots are grounded in the way we want to be treated and the forgiveness that God has already granted to us. Make sense? When we look at this subject we must look at his forgiveness in our lives first to see why Jesus would command us to forgive so often and so much. First off, in looking at ourselves we must ask the question, “From time to time do I need forgiveness?” The answer is an obvious yes. We all do. The reason goes all the way back to the beginning when man sinned in the Garden of Eden. The sin of Adam and Eve passed to all of us and therefore requires that we experience forgiveness. Without personal forgiveness none of us would do well in life. We would be eternally guilty with no way of redeeming ourselves. Yet when we are forgiven we experience love at its’ highest level. Have you ever received something you didn’t deserve? How did it make you feel? Probably very happy.
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Col. 1:13-14 (KJV)
Going further we can see that when we sinned, it was against God. You can’t get any worse than this can you? The situation becomes more complicated when we see that each of us have no way to pay for our sins because the penalty for sin is death. We are in essence, stuck with a debt that we cannot pay. In this dilemna there is no bankruptcy court or easy way out. There is absolutely no way to fix this problem. The parable that Jesus taught puts the main figure into this very scenario.
“Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.  And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.  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.” Matthew 18:23-25 (KJV)
You see, without forgiveness all of us end up at this same place losing everything. His debt had amassed to the point that he owed $16,420,00 in current money value to his master and had no way to repay the debt. He was sunk. In the same way, we become totally dependent on God and others when we do wrong. The man in this parable found himself in exactly the same position. He had done wrong and had no way to get himself out of this debt. His only hope was mercy and he quickly asked for it. We’ve all done things that we shouldn’t have and it amazing how quickly we ask for forgiveness.
“The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.” Matthew 18:26-27 (KJV)
This man got to the foundation of forgiveness, which is, “I need forgiveness” and he recognized his totally bankrupt situation. He fell down and begged for forgiveness. He asked for something he didn’t deserve. He asked for grace. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (KJV)
The amazing thing in this parable is the forgiveness and love of God to mankind. He was totally forgiven of a debt he could not pay. This is the foundation of forgiveness. Before you hold a grudge or refuse to forgive someone of their wrong to you, remember you will find yourself in the same situation they are in someday. Needing forgiveness.
Question #1 How do you feel when someone forgives you? How do you think they feel when you forgive them?
Building on the Foundation
Our response to mercy from others should be to have mercy on others. When we see that the foundation of forgiveness is our need to be forgiven first, it makes it easier to release and forgive those who have done us wrong. In fact when we build on this foundation we can understand that when we don’t forgive others it becomes morally wrong on our part. An unforgiving person is actually saying, “I deserve to have mercy but others don’t.” Does that sound right to you? I hope not. This parable describes a man who found mercy and went out from the presence of his master, only to find someone who owed him $15. There is one thing we can see when it comes to forgiveness; what we owe God is much greater than what others owe us. The severity of our sins against God is much greater than the severity of sins done to us by others.
“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.  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” Matthew 18:28-29 (KJV)
The possibility existed that this man could have paid him the $15 in time. Yet he would not forgive him as he had just been forgiven because he was immoral in his heart. He lacked compassion, mercy and forgiveness in his heart. He was not really overwhelmed by the fact that he had been forgiven. Somehow he felt he was better than others and that was why the king had forgiven him. He would not forgive but had the poor man thrown into prison until his debt could be paid.
“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.  And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.” Matthew 18:28-29 (KJV)
This man was unforgiving and his wrong attitude and lack of understanding got the attention of the master (God). He was full of pride and didn’t realize his eminent fall.
“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)
Here is how he treated others after being forgiven himself.
“So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  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:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?  And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.” Matthew 18:31-34 (KJV)
The very same judgment that he gave out was the same judgment that was given to him. This will happen to us also if fail to forgive.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38 (KJV)
This not only refers to giving material things but forgiveness as well. We too can fall into the trap of thinking that we can get away with being unforgiving. We can’t because God is watching everything we do.
“So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” Matthew 18:35 (KJV)
The lesson of this parable is to forgive. Forgive and have mercy because when we give mercy we will receive mercy. When we forgive we will be forgiven. All of us need mercy more than anything else and the only way to obtain it is to have mercy on others.
Question #2 Is there someone in your life that you need to forgive? Why not do it today. You’ll feel much better for doing it.
Forgiveness releases us from the bondage of anger and hatred and it releases the person that is in the bondage of guilt for their deed. It is a win-win situation. When we fail to forgive we put ourselves in the bondage of anger and bitterness and we place others in the prison house of debt and guilt. It is a lose-lose situation. God wants us to be winners! Winners are those who can step down off of the pedestal of pride and humble themselves enough to forgive. That’s exactly what God did when he came to this earth and robed himself in humanity.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philip. 2:8 (KJV)
If God loves us enough to forgive, why not say with Jesus Christ “Father forgive them they know not what they do.” You can live free from the bondage of an unforgiving spirit. If parents have done you wrong, if friends have betrayed you, if your husband or wife has offended you the answer to the problem is, forgive.
If you are having difficulties and would like to speak with someone please let me know and someone will contact you as soon as possible. If you have any questions on this or any subject please leave it here and I will get back to you via e-mail. Thanks for stopping by and may God richly bless you.
Focus on Freedom