Matthew 18: 21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
Therefore. the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand “talents” was brought to him. 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.
“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything. The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
“But he refused, instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me too. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
This is how my Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
It was the Jewish custom to forgive a brother three times and now Jesus answers Peter that he should forgive his brother seventy-seven times. Jesus then in this parable teaches believers accountability for the way we treat others. First, we must realize that we have all sinned against God and deserve the judgement of death. It is impossible for us to pay the price for our sins. Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, the only one who knew no sin, we can now receive forgiveness for our sins. In order for our Heavenly Father to forgive our sins, which are many, we must forgive truly from our heart our brother when he sins against us.
Father we desire to forgive others in the same manner that you have forgiven our sins against you. Help us to remember to receive forgiveness, we must give forgiveness to others. Humble us with accountability and gratitude to You and to our brothers and sisters in Christ. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.