FORGIVENESS

forgive-me
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please Read: Matthew 18:23-35

A very rich king had loaned ten thousand talents to one of his servants. This would be a very large sum, probably the equivalent of several million dollars today. After a period of time, the king called upon the servant to repay what he had borrowed. The servant said he no longer had the money; he could not pay. As a consequence the king ordered the servant to be sold with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment would be made for them. The servant was shocked, he fell on his knees and begged the king to forgive him and that somehow, he would be able repay the loan. The king had pity on him, and ordered him released, and the debt forgiven.

The text tells us that when he went out, he met a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii (call it one hundred dollars). He grabbed the servant by the neck, and demanded that repayment be made. The servant was unable to repay, so he fell down on his knees, and begged for forgiveness. The king’s servant ordered his fellow servant to be put in prison, until he should pay the debt. Other servants reported to the king what he had done. The king summoned the servant who had been forgiven much. The king rebuked him, and ordered him put in jail until full payment be made. Jesus said, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

The meaning of this parable is obvious. We come to God seeking forgiveness for all of our sins, because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. He forgives us for every sin: what we have thought, what we have said, what we have done. We need to seek his forgiveness every day!

Matthew 18:21, “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.”

I hope that we all get the point! What God has done in forgiving us is exceedingly greater than any forgiveness we may give. When we forgive a member of our family, or an employer, or a teacher, or someone that made an unfilled promise—we must not carry around the faults of others for all of our lives. It will dishonor our Savior. Our hurt can turn into bitterness; we can become slaves in resentment; we can even become self-righteous.

Our Lord wants us to be free of resentment and hatred. I am not suggesting that we should commend bad manners, or crime, or evil. We honor our Lord when we look through the cross of salvation and forgive. Indeed, we can rejoice in the grace and mercy of our Lord! We can show our gratitude through our faith and our loyalty.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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