BY REV. PHILIP CRAIG
Greater Springfield Community Church
Scripture: Matthew 18: 21-35 (KJV)
In this week’s scripture, we find Jesus speaking to one of His disciples Peter regarding a parable of the unforgiving servant. In my opinion, it is without a doubt that forgiveness is one of the most powerful things one can possess in one’s heart. Forgiveness transforms hurt, pain and anger into healing, joy and peace. There were times when I personally had to make a decision to either possess a hard heart or forgive my adversary during times of trials and tribulations. What I learned through choosing forgiveness in these times is that you possess a key that not only unlocks personal peace, but also God’s miracle power.
It is with that mind-set that Jesus teaches Peter in this parable that God will forgive you of your debts and trespasses and expects you to do the same. However, in verse 35 of this scripture, it is alluded to that if you choose not to forgive your fellow brothers and sisters, God will also be reluctant in forgiving you.
This parable involves a servant who was brought into the presence of the king to settle his debt. He owed the king 10,000 talents. But after a passionate plea for mercy and forgiveness, the king finds it in his heart to forgive the debt.
This same servant immediately leaves the presence of the king and goes to a fellow servant who owes him 100 denarii and demands payment at once. The second servant makes a plea identical to the plea of the first servant when made to the king, but the plea was disregarded and he was thrown into prison until the debt could be repaid.
Before we continue, allow me to first break down the value of the debts owed by both of the servants, so you can understand this parable in its full context. We have two servants who owe a debt, one owing 10,000 talents and one owing 100 denarii. In verse 24, the first servant is said that he owed the king 10,000 talents. A talent is equal to 6,000 days wages (a day’s wage was one denarius). So, if we do the math correctly, the first servant owed the king 60,000,000 days’ wages. In present-day wages in Israel, that is the equivalent to more than $7.5 billion.
While on the other hand, the second servant who owed the first servant 100 denarii as mentioned in verse 28 is an equivalent of 100 silver coins, which equals 100 days’ wages. In present wages in Israel, this would equate to approximately $13,000. Although $13,000 isn’t a small amount of money, it certainly isn’t anywhere close to the $7.5 billion owed by the first servant. When the king heard of this act committed by the servant, he summoned the servant back to him and threw him in prison until he could pay his debt.
The message that Jesus is alluding to in this parable is that we must be willing to learn how to let go. Let go of hurts, pains and trespasses that you may have experienced in the past. These experiences have made you stronger, wiser and more aware of how to move forward in your life. The first servant received the punishment he deserved because he did not show mercy and forgiveness to his fellow servant. What you sow in life, you will reap. Forgiveness is a winning mentality. When you help others, God will help you. Each of us has a debt of sin that we cannot pay, and for those who have accepted the gift of forgiveness, we are expected to show the same mercy and forgiveness to others.
May God bless you.
Greater Springfield Community Church is located at 177-06 129th Ave, Jamaica NY 11434
Email Pastor Craig at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org