Week of November 3 - Day 2

Day 2 Read: Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

 Reflect: What was Peter’s question and Jesus’ answer?

 Consider: Jesus completed his discourse about the value and treatment of his children with one more caution applied to our relationships with fellow believers who sin against us. As we deal with straying believers (18:15–20), we may be tempted to become merciless toward them, especially when they sin against us. In abandoning mercy, we forget that the Father has shown us great mercy. In this regard, we are no better than our sinning fellow believers. Jesus illustrated through a parable the attitude we are to display toward those who are “indebted” to us in their sins against us. It is an attitude that he displayed lavishly toward us, and we are to imitate this attitude in our relationships with others.[1]

 Respond: What does this parable teach you about God’s mercy?

What does the parable teach you about the expectation for Christ followers?

[1] Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 295.