And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” vss. 34-35Matthew 18:23-34
Unlike some of Jesus’ other parables the story of the unmerciful slave is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. What the slave did was despicable and the anger of his master was justified. The parable was likely told as Jesus observed the reluctance of his disciples to practice forgiveness in their daily encounters and in their relationships. It’s like he couldn’t comprehend how people who had experienced the complete and total forgiveness of their sins from God could be so stingy in forgiving those who had sinned against them. Of all the people in the world, followers of Jesus should be leading the way in extending grace and mercy to others. And this isn’t the only time Jesus pointed this out. Just think about the Lord’s Prayer, “Forgive us our sins as we forgive the sins of others.” We say those words regularly, but few seem to take them seriously. Forgiveness has become almost an anomaly in our culture. We’re astounded when we hear that victims are offering forgiveness to their abusers when it should be the most natural thing in the world for those who are in Christ. How good it is that God does not operate according to the standards of the world!
Thought for the Day: What happens when we don’t forgive?