Questions for Reflection
- When you think about peace & peacefulness, what comes to mind?
- What are some of the “peace killers” that show up in your life and take away your peace & peacefulness?
When Jesus taught us how to pray He said, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us”
- when He said that, He seems to make “us being forgiven” contingent upon “us forgiving others”
- “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matt 18:21-22
- Peter is referring here to his present relationships & not later when he will stand before God to be judged
- The religious leaders back then taught that you had to forgive others 3 times but not the 4th time
- Jesus says “don’t keep track – a person who loves God is to overflow with forgiveness”
Parables contain many truths, but many parables have one main point to their story.
“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. Matt 18:23-27
- One talent is a weight of money equal to about 20 years of wages (est)
- Someone said that in order for forgiveness to happen, justice mercy & grace all need to be involved
- Justice is giving someone what they deserve
- Mercy is NOT giving them what they deserve
- Grace is giving someone what they do NOT deserve
- When someone sins against you, you end up paying for it one way or another, so why not forgive them right away?
“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. Matt 18:28-30
- A hundred denarii is about 2-3 months wages
- The first servant was forgiven for a huge debt, but he did not receive a penny of it – because he was still planning on paying back the king.
- We can do this too in our life, when we set out to prove to God just how good we are!
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. Matthew 18:31-34
- We can become a “wicked servant” when we do not pass on freely to others the forgiveness that God freely gives us!
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you- unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” Matt 18:35
- This is the main point to the story – If we do not forgive others from the heart when they sin against us, God will hand us over to Satan and his demons to torture us until we do.
Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
- One reason that evil exists, is to “prod” people into forgiveness.
- One of the ways we can experience this prodding in our life, is when our minds are continually on the go, even when we want to sleep. Other times our thinking can lead us back to the same event, acting like a magnet that’s drawn towards metal. I’m sure you have other examples in your life.
The part about the story that I find hard to believe is
Study Questions for Personal Follow-Up and Group Discussion
1) Connecting with Your Story
- What is your first reaction to the thought of forgiving others?
- ____ you have to be kidding
- ____ I don’t think so!
2) Quick Review
- Looking back, was there a particular point, verse or comment that caught your attention or challenged you that you would like to talk more about?
- In the past, what did you think the consequences were -if any- for “not forgiving others”?
- Do you find it easy, difficult, or do you just not agree that Satan and demons are the jailers?
- What are some things that come to mind when you think that God would “turn you over to Satan to torment you” when you do not forgive others?
- What are some ways you or others you know, have been “tormented by the jailers” in life?
- In this message you heard there was at least one reason for evil to exist today (to prod people in to forgiveness).
- What are some other possible reasons you can think of, that evils exists today?
- Talk about how Justice, Mercy & Grace came into play for you, when you had to forgive someone.
3) Digging deeper
- a. Read Psalm 32:5 and 103:10-12.
- What catches your attention from these passages?
- What do you learn about the heart of God from them?
- b. Read Colossians 2:13-14.
- Someone said, “The one who teaches us to pray ‘Father, forgive us our debts’ is the one who takes our debts upon himself, goes to the cross and dies to erase the ledger”.
- What do you think about this passage & statement?
4) Taking it home
- Is there someone in your life that you are having a hard time forgiving?