Just a final recap on the sequence of events which have unfolded in this parable:
· The servant could not repay his debt to the king and was about to face the penalty of defaultment.
· So the servant pleaded for mercy and the king forgave him and cancelled all of his debts out of compassion.
· However, the servant refused to forgive a fellow servant who owed him some money but imprisoned him until the debt was fully paid.
· The king was furious at the servant’s unwillingness to forgive and ordered for him to be put in prison until he should pay back all of his debt.
The Unforgiving Servant: Part 4 (Matthew 18:21-35)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (15th September 2012)
My dear readers, have you already experienced
God’s forgiveness for your sins after repentance?
This forgiveness was bought at such a great cost
Through Christ’s propitiating death on the cross
Do you have bitterness welling up within?
Towards someone who against you has sinned?
Are there hurts from the past you cannot release?
Give them to Jesus for in him you will find peace.
Points for Reflection:
God’s sacrificial love and forgiveness were clearly displayed on the cross where Christ bore the penalty for our sins. The price paid for the reconciliation between a holy God and sinful man is such a costly one and that should motivate us to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Christ even prayed for the forgiveness of those who cruelly mocked, flogged and crucified him.
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Unforgiveness is like a potent seed which is sown into our hearts each time we are angered by people who have wronged us. If this seed of unforgiveness is not unearthed and thrown away, it could easily take root and grow into bitterness which is like a poisonous plant that infects every part of the soil. Even the good fruits (good works we do for God) borne by the good plants in the soil of our heart would be tinged with bitterness.
The process of unearthing the seed of unforgiveness and uprooting bitterness is not an easy one and might even be painful. But as Christians, we are so fortunate to have the Holy Spirit to help us in this challenging process. Why don’t you ask God to help you tend to the soil of your heart?