“Forgiveness and Mercy”

Matthew 18

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 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.

26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28 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. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32 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: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Peter was a very rough man doing things at the spur of the moment. So he asked how many times he should forgive his brother. Only till seven times? But Jesus answered him, not seven times, but seventy times seven.

The Lord notes down every time you have a grudge, or are stiff-necked. On Judgement day He will open His books and settle accounts with you.

We read here of a servant owing 10000 talents. It was a great amount and he could not pay his debt. In those days he would be sold together with his wife and children. But he humbled himself and begged for forgiveness and mercy. So the king forgave him all. This servant was ecstatic when he realised that all his debt was removed. As this servant humbled himself before his king so too you have to humble yourself before the Lord God to have your sins forgiven. This king had great compassion on this servant and forgave him all. Have you experienced that compassion from your Lord, even as the Lord Jesus had great compassion for the multitude when He saw them.

Jesus said that though your sins be as red as scarlet, He will wash them white as snow.

To be forgiven is something wonderful – a burden lifted. When you come to Christ your heart must be broken, for how can you ask for forgiveness if you don’t know what you owe?

This man was forgiven 10000 talents. As he left the king he met a fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii. 1 talent was worth 1000 denarii.

He owed the king 10 million denarii and was forgiven, but he would not forgive his fellow servant only 100 denarii! When the other servants saw this they went and told the king and the king called that servant and said to him, “Because you have done this after I had forgiven you all that debt, I recall all your debt of 10 million denarii and you will be in jail until you have paid the last denarii.’

All of us should be wide awake as this applies to us personally. When you got converted all your sins were forgiven and you were full of joy at such a weight being lifted. After some time you meet with someone else who says something about you, and it hurts you and so you have resentment and a grudge in your heart. You have forgotten all those sins Christ has forgiven you. God says that if you don’t forgive that person freely He will recall all your sins again.

You can kill someone physically but also with the razor sharp words that you speak.

God says that the way you forgive others is the way He will forgive you. If you keep a grudge and do not want anything to do with someone else, God says in the same way you will not receive forgiveness.

God says all your guilt will be brought against you again if you don’t forgive your brother from the heart. In other words your salvation will be gone unless God is a liar. If you say something else then you are the liar.

A few Sundays ago we spoke about the Chinese missionary whom God convicted of behind-the-back criticism of another Christian, in other words, of slander. If you do that you are dead spiritually. It is a terrible sin. You must go to that person and clear the matter but do not slander him behind his back.

So from today forgive your brother and God will forgive you.