Then his master summoned him and said to him, “You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also, my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” - Matthew 18:32-35
The most forgiven people should be the most forgiving people. God has forgiven the most in the wicked servant i.e. ten thousand talents (a talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a laborer). The average salary of a blue collar worker in US is $43,318. Multiply that by 20 years which comes out to $866,360. Multiply that by 10,000 and that comes to 8,633,600,000 dollars. Can you imagine accruing a debt that large? That’s the amount of the gross national income of a small country like Jamaica, Albania or Honduras. It would take multiple life sentences to pay off that debt! Yet that debt was cleared and forgiven by the gracious master. This wicked servant could not and would not forgive a fellow servant who owed him 100 denarii (day’s wage for a laborer) which would be about $21,600 today. A $21,000 debt is no small debt meaning that when people offend and injure us, it still hurts. But in comparison to what has been forgiven, he could easily forgive.
Point of Application:
Stand on God’s forgiveness through Christ. My offenses, transgressions, iniquities, rebellion, disobedience and treason against the God of the universe, creator of heaven and earth has been forgiven in full when Christ took on my son at the cross. Charles Spurgeon says that, “You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if he were you.” Jesus took all my punishment I deserved that I continue to accrue on the cross.
Forgive from my heart: The question is not how can I forgive? Rather, the question is how could I NOT forgive? First, recognize and acknowledge the hurt and wounds that others have done to me but anchor my forgiveness of others in how God in Christ has forgiven me. Understand the debt of 100 denarii that others have incurred but forgive from the heart who’s been forgiven of 10,000 talents.
Thank you for complete and experiential forgiveness in you. You are abounding in mercy and great in steadfast love. Thank you for paying the price of my forgiveness—the death of your own son. Fill me with your grace, mercy and kindness so that I can forgive others. May my forgiveness know no bounds. Help me to process hurts and wounds so that I don’t suppress and deny them but realize the freedom in forgiveness. I love you.