Key Verse: Matthew 18:22
Big Idea: We have been forgiven more than we could ever need to forgive.
In our chapter for today, Jesus tells a parable so vivid that it almost requires no explanation. A slave owes a stupendous debt of 10,000 talents, which is so absurd in its value that it could be paraphrased something like “a million bars of gold.” A talent was a unit of weight of about 100 pounds, and 10,000 talents of gold would have taken a day laborer over two hundred thousand years to repay. His master graciously forgives him the debt, and then he goes out and finds a man that owns him 3 or 4 months of wages. Not a small sum, but nothing in comparison to the debt which had been pardoned. He took him by the neck and threatened to throw him into prison if he did not repay the debt immediately.
The scene is simple and absurd. How could someone who had been forgiven so much be so ungrateful as to refuse to forgive others. This is Jesus’ answer to how often we must forgive our brother who sins against us: always. He says it in different ways (seventy times seven times, ten thousand talents worth), but the picture is clear.
God is the one that we sin against whenever we sin (Psalm 51), using the minds, bodies and mouths He gave us in rebellion against Him. If we have placed our faith in Jesus, we have been forgiven so much and at such great cost, that we are like the slave who owed 10,000 talents. We have been forgiven more than we could ever dream of repaying, and it is the height of ingratitude for us to withhold that same forgiveness from others. Their sin against us may be great, but it is nothing compared to what Jesus has done for us.
Discussion idea: Why is it so hard for us to forgive, even though we know how much we love being forgiven?
Prayer focus: Pray for the perspective to see people the way that God does, and be quick to forgive like He is.