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The Unmerciful Servant

Parables of Jesus  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Matthew 18:23–25 NASB95
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
Matthew 18:23–35 NASB95
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. “When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. “But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. “So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ “And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ “So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ “But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. “So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. “Then summoning him, his lord said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. ‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
Introduction:

The forgiveness we need is more than we could ever provide.

Matthew 18:24 NASB95
“When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.
Matt
10,000 talents! One talent was about 6,000 denarii, 6,000 days wages. This is an astronomical amount of money when you do the math. 60,000,000 days wages, not dollars, days wages. As we have discussed before, parables don’t give all the details we would like to have. How does a man acquire the kind of debt that would take 164,000 years to pay off? Doesn’t matter. The point is,

It is more debt than he could ever repay.

ii. Even his wife children and all his possessions cannot satisfy the debt.
Matthew 18:25 NASB95
“But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
1. This is true for us also.

Our sin is so great there is nothing we can do to erase it.

We have nothing to offer God, which is not already His.

So what do we do?
2. We have nothing to offer God, which is not already His.

Our only option is to ask for mercy and forgiveness.

Matthew 18:26 NASB95
“So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’
V26
a. He fell on his face, putting himself completely in the hands of his master. What did he have to lose?
a. He fell on his face, putting himself completely in the hands of his master.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NASB95
and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
r sin.

He asked for forgiveness, knowing he could never repay what was owed.

It was a ridiculous request.

How do you ask forgiveness for a debt you could not repay in a lifetime? Who does that?
He was forgiven completely by his compassionate master.
Matthew 18:27 NASB95
“And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt.
Matthew 18.

The master had no obligation to forgive.

ii. He chose of His own will to forgive, not because He believed the slave could ever repay his debt. He knew the promise was an empty promise. The slave could have worked 10 lifetimes and not even covered the interest on a debt that big.
We have to remember in parables Jesus is painting a picture. The picture here is of a debt so great no human could ever repay it.
iii. The master is the only one who could forgive the debt.
I think, even the disciples, who have pretty thick up to this point, would have gotten this one. Because of sin we owe a debt to God that we can never repay. We could work 10 lifetimes and not even get close. Our only hope is to fall to the ground and ask for mercy. There is no sense in us bargaining with God. “God, give me time and I will fix my sin problem.” That is as ridiculous as saying, “Give me time I will repay 164,000 years wages.”
We can never repay the debt we owe. Only God can cancel our sin debt. Even the Pharisees understood this, because they had a fit when Jesus forgave sins.
1. ,
Mark 2:7 NASB95
“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?”
Luke 5:21 NASB95
The scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”
God is willing to forgive our debt of sin. In fact, Jesus has already paid the price for us. But, like this slave, we have to ask and accept God’s forgiveness of that debt. Did you notice that the master did not requirement a payment or services for the forgiveness?
There was no pre-requirement to forgiveness, but Jesus goes on to say that there is a post-requirement.

Once we have been forgiven, we must forgive.

Vss 28-35
a. The forgiven slave sought out someone who owed him a small sum of money.
Matthew 18:28 NASB95
“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’
i. Seized him and physically assaulted him.
i. Seized him and physically assaulted him.
I’m debt free. Now it is time to get on the plus side. Who owes me money?
Even his master had not done this to him.
This slave asked for the same forgiveness.
Matthew 18:29 NASB95
“So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’
i. This was a reasonable request.

This was a reasonable request.

ii. He even begged. This was more than the man had done over his great debt.
c. He refused to forgive this small debt and had him imprisoned. V30
d. His wickedness was exposed before the master. V31-32
The master expected this man to forgive as he had been forgiven.
Matthew 18:33–34 NASB95
‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ “And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him.
V33-34
V33-34
Colossians 3:13 NASB95
bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

This is the key to this whole parable. How can we not forgive others when we ourselves have been forgiven? What can someone owe us that is so great we cannot forgive it?
ii. The unforgiving slave was given the same punishment he meted out.
Conclusion:

This parable has absolutely nothing to do with money. It is all about the heart.

· What you have been forgiven far outweighs what you could ever forgive. We have prayed thousands of times?
· – And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors…
· Someone once told me, “Unforgiveness is the poison we drink hoping the other person will die.”
· Knowing how great our sin is and how much greater, even, was the price Jesus paid for it, how can we not forgive others for whatever it is they have done?
Has someone said something to offend you? You need to forgive it.
Has someone done something to you? You need to forgive it.
Has someone hurt someone you love? You need to forgive it.
There is only one unforgiveable sin and no one can commit that against you. If God can forgive every other sin under the sun, we can too. No one says it is easy, but it is required.
Jesus has forgiven our trillion dollar debt. We have a lot of forgiving to do.
· Forgiving:
o Frees us to receive Jesus’ forgiveness
o Frees us to love others unconditionally
o Models Jesus’ forgiveness for others to see.
· Last words, forgiveness must come from a changed heart. This only happens when we truly accept God’s forgiveness that He freely offers.
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