The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Ask: Have you ever had a friend that said something that hurt your feelings? Maybe a brother or sister who broke your favorite toy? Even if they say that they’re sorry it can be really hard not to be angry with them or to make them pay for what they’ve done. Choosing to forgive others is not an easy thing for us to do.

One day, Peter asked Jesus a very interesting question about forgiveness. He wanted to know how many times he should forgive someone. Jesus answered Peter’s question and then he told an amazing parable about why we should forgive others.

Read: Matthew 18:21-34

The debt the first servant owed the king was HUGE, big enough that he never could have paid it back. And yet the king chose to have compassion and forgive him. In comparison, the second servant owed very little and would have been able to pay it with some time. But the first servant refused to have compassion or offer forgiveness and demanded payment. Even though he had been forgiven by the king, he chose not to have compassion on his fellow servant. And when the king found out about it, he was not happy.

In this story, the king is a picture of God and we are like the first servant. We have sinned and owe God a debt that is impossible for us to pay. But God showed us great compassion and gave us forgiveness through Jesus. The question is, who are you going to act like? Will you follow the example of our compassionate God and forgive others? Or will you choose to be angry and make them pay? Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for forgiving me through Jesus. Help me to choose to forgive others. In Jesus name, amen.