Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold – along with his wife, his children and everything he owned – to pay the debt. But the man fell down before his master and begged him ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.”
But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment. His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full. When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the King called in the man he had forgiven and said “You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you? Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart” – Matthew 18:23-35
This parable is about forgiveness. When Peter asked Jesus “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” Jesus replied “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!” Jesus explains this story to Peter to show the importance of forgiveness and what happens when we don’t forgive others. Jesus response of 70 x 7, isn’t an exact quote, rather it is an illustration of how we must always forgive.We don’t forgive others because they deserve it, we forgive others because God has already forgiven us.
This parable is a great example of how we should treat others. Simply put, do to others as you would want done to you. If the servant would have forgiven his servant, just as The King had forgiven him, he would not have spent his days tortured in prison until his debt was paid. Because of his actions of un-forgiveness, he suffered. We must be mindful of how we treat others and ask ourselves “would we want this done to us?” If the answer is no, than you may need to rethink your actions. Remember, if we don’t forgive others, our heavenly Father will not forgive us.
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12