How Much Mercy?

“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 to. 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.” (Matthew 18:23-35)

“If there is the tiniest grudge in your mind against anyone, your spiritual penetration into the knowledge of God stops.” -Oswald Chambers
In this parable Jesus seals the deal for our need to forgive others. Perhaps it would be a refreshing reminder to review a few verses that talk about sin in order to remember the extraordinary forgiveness God has demonstrated towards us.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 )

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)

But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (Romans 10:8-11)

“Mercy imitates God and disappoints Satan.”
-John Chrysostom

 

God has every right to put us to shame. Yet He chose to let His Son die for us instead! Certainly none of us would like to hear that we would be tortured until we could repay our debt, a debt that would take us all eternity to repay. In the parable, the unforgiving servant owed his Master a huge amount, yet his fellow servant only owed him a mere silver coin. Jesus is making His point crystal clear. The first servant had been forgiven all and he should have forgiven all. A child of the King has alloftheir sins forgiven and therefore we are to willingly forgive all from the heart.

“The more godly any man is, the more merciful that man will be.” -Thomas Brooks
Jesus teaches us to forgive others when they have wronged us and to seek forgiveness when we have wronged them. We must follow our Lord’s example. He extended to us the ultimate pardon–the forgiveness of our sins. His forgiveness is so thorough, so complete, so encompassing, it is as if He looks at us as though we have never sinned. Shouldn’t we, as Jesus stated, have mercy on others as He has had mercy on us?

Take It to Heart

“Do you wish to receive mercy? Show mercy to your neighbor.”
(John Chrysostom)

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