Matthew 18:21-35

A University in Wisconsin Catalog announced a new course on, “Inter-personnel Forgiveness.” This course may offer some insight on the subject, however; the best answer is given in the Bible … By forgiving others as God has forgiven us.

Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

Look again at verse 21, Peter thought that he was really being generous when he said this because two or three times was all you had to forgive according to the rabbis. Simon Peter was willing to forgive seven times, but Peter’s generosity was little as to Jesus’ new provision in verse 22. That is four hundred and ninety times.  By that time, things might be pretty well worked out.

If not, both of them would have reached old age to the extent that it wouldn’t amount to much anyway! Four hundred and ninety times is going to the limit—and that is exactly the point Jesus is making.

In this story Jesus is using this far-out illustration to prove a point. The amount this servant owed his lord was about twelve million dollars.  That is a lot of money to forgive anyone. But, a hundred pence amounted to about seventeen dollars.  Compare that to 12 million.

Because God has forgiven us, we are to forgive each other.  If God forgave our sins in the same way we forgive others, none of us would be forgiven. But after we have become children of God, because we have been forgiven, we are to forgive others.


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