Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.
When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till 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 18:21-35)
|The Forgiving Soul: How to Forgive Yourself, Others and Life
By Samuel White, III
You see, our Lord radicalized the amount stated in Peter’s self-answered question. Jesus cited a very radical number of forgiveness instances to be made available. Then using a parable, our Lord gave the example of the immense forgiveness of a king. He stated that the ruler forgave a debtor to the tune of about six million dollars (by today’s count). This was done in spite of accepted legalities that which would have imprisoned the man unto torture, so that his relatives would work long and hard to ransom him. The king did not attach all of his possessions, nor enslave the man's family.
|Not Just a Soup Kitchen: How Mercy Ministry in the Local Church Transforms Us All
By Dr. David S. Apple
If we accept the latter example, then this "other" lord was in a position so that he could influence the master of the first debtor. If that was so, then we are called to ask, “Is this an early expression of Trinitarian dogma?” because one who was King could be influenced only by another who was also King? To be sure, whether you view this discourse as historically the words of Jesus or our own interpretative apostolic leanings, I consider that this may have indeed been an expression of theological doctrine emerging from the church of Matthew, possibly written down from oral tradition some fifty years after the crucifixion and Resurrection. We ask why this scribal necessity? Did the first debtor represent the Jews in the Church, and the latter debtor the Gentiles?
We thus may ask, “Was it that some persons stubbornly kept the traditions of Israel... or favored their rabbinical teachers.., who were being yet too stingy in passing along the radical good news to converts about the superlative abundant grace received?” Finding this subliminal trace within the parable dialog as to foundational Trinitarian relationship, as expressed through our Lord’s use of “king” and “lord”, I find that we need to pay very close attention and pay our own due.
|How To Stop The Pain - eBook
By Dr. James B. Richards
For the church of Matthew, we see that it was likely that the Holy Spirit had already established a pattern. We of the modern Church have thus inherited an existential model for our own ministry from this gospel writing. For any church in the Spirit, limitless forgiving compassion is a goal to be expressed. We are to be a gospel declaring community, no matter the worldly status of the recipient. We are not to cave in… settling for such as Israelite, Sharia law, nor national law.
Remember, even in its perfect form the Law only condemns. It cannot deliver the debtor! The Church is thus called to be separatist. The character laid out for the whole Church sets our Lord’s disciples apart as having a quality that is different than the rest of the world.
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May You Be Called to Repent and Receive!