Parable of the Unmerciful Servant


Jesus Teaches Disciples by James Tissot





MATTHEW 18:21 – 35 (NIV) “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 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. 26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. 28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. 29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ 30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Focus – Verses 21 and 22

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Sometimes, we can be like Peter. We are thinking, ‘oh, not again!’ However, Jesus emphasizes the need to forgive over and over. Often, we don’t have the patience to do this. We get annoyed by people easily and sometimes, after one thing annoys us, everything that person does starts to annoy us. Nevertheless, God’s mercy is endless and we shouldn’t put a limit on our forgiveness either. When we find it difficult to forgive, let us not draw on our own abilities which are lacking. Reflect on how merciful and forgiving God has been to you. When we look at it through a Godly lens, we are more able to be like Jesus and follow his command.

Dear LORD, help us to forgive over and over again. Thank you for readily forgiving us over and over again. Amen.


Steffi Siby