The Parables of Jesus
Matthew 18:21-35

Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

Matthew 18:21-22
    21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
         till seven times?
    22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

       [A] Jesus had been teaching the people and his disciples were there with him as he taught

 [B] Peter came to Jesus and asked him a question
         [1] Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
         [2] This question and Peter’s comment on it, shows that he had at least an inkling of what Jesus
                 expected of them as far as forgiveness went
                 [a] To forgive a person seven times for doing something to you, is to forgive them a lot
                 [b] To forgive someone seven times shows that a person is really sincere in their
                         Forgiveness
                 [c] It would be quite a thing to forgive someone who did something to you seven times
                         Repeatedly

 [C] Jesus answer to him was I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
         [1] What did Jesus mean my seventy times seven?
         [2] Until seventy times seven.
                 [a] We are not to limit our forgiveness to any fixed number of times.
                 [b] As often as a brother injures us, and asks forgiveness, we are to forgive him.
                 [c] It is his duty to ask forgiveness,
                         [1-a] If he does this, it is our duty to declare that we forgive him, and to treat him
                                 accordingly.
                         [2-a] If he does not ask us to forgive him, we are still not at liberty to follow him
                                 with revenge and malice, but are still to treat him kindly, and to do him
                                 Good.
The Parable

Matthew 18:23-35
    23. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his
         servants.
    24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25. But
    forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children,
         and all that he had, and payment to be made.
    26. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will
          pay thee all.
    27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
    28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred
         pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
    29. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I
         will pay thee all.
    30. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
    31. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their
         lord all that was done.
    32. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all
         that debt, because thou desiredst me:
    33. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
    34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto
         him.
    35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one
         his brother their trespasses.

Verse 23 - Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his
 servants.

 [A] The King again represents God.

 [B] The Servants are those who follow him, the Christian community, the church

 [C] The King came to his servants to take account of them
         [a] He came to judge them,
         [b] He came to challenge them
                 [1] This challenge comes thought what we learn from his Holy Word, do we simply read
                         it, or do we do it as well
                 [2] The challenge comes through the hearing of the word being preached and taught
                 [c] We are constantly challenged as we learn more and more about God, and his word,
                         when we are, we must choose whether we will do as God says, or will we do as
                         we desire in our own heart to do?

Verse 24 - And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

 [A] The amount the servant owed, is really not important, but if it were today, the total would have been                 
         in the millions, of dollars, so it would have been a great sum
         [1] A talent of silver was worth $1,519.23 in our money,
         [2] A talent of gold was worth $24,309.88 in our money
         [3] If these were silver talents, as is probable, then the sum owed by the servant was
                 $16,180,000.00
                 [1-a] The sum Jesus used to show that the debt was immensely large, and that our sins are
                         so great that they cannot be estimated or numbered

 [B] What is it that Jesus is actually referring to here?
         [1] Is it money the man owed
         [2] Is it sins he committed against God?

Verse 25 -  But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children,
 and all that he had, and payment to be made.

 [A] Because the man was unable to pay his bill, the lord commanded him to be sold
         [1] During the time of Christ and before, when a person owed money they and their family could
                 under law be sold to pay the debt
         [2] That man his wife and his children would have become servants to someone who was willing
                 to pay their account off, and they would have been required to work for a certain number
                 of years to fulfill their servant hood and pay the money back

Verse 26 - The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will
 pay thee all.

 [A] The servant did not deny owing the master money,
         [1] He fell down before him and begged mercy from him
         [2] He showed all the signs of true repentance to the master

 [B] He begged the master to allow him time
         [1] If you show me mercy, I will repay you

Verse 27 - Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

 [A] The important thing in this verse is that the Lord forgave the man his debt.
         [1] When he forgave the debt, he wiped the slate clean
         [2] The man no longer owed the lord any money

 [B] He was forgiven

Verse 28 - But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred
 pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

 [A] Here’s where the story gets interesting.
         [1] How much did the servant owe his lord
                 [a] An innumerable amount
                 [b] Literally millions of dollars
         [2] The debt the fellow servant owed the first servant would amount to around $14.00 in our
                 Money a considerable smaller amount than he had owed his lord.

 [B] What did he do to his fellow servant
         [1] He grabbed him, and demanded that he pay all that he owed him

Verse 29 - And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I
will pay thee all.

 [A] Take notice here
         [1] The fellow servant did exactly what the servant had done to his lord
                 [1-a] He fell down before him and begged him for his patience
                 [2-a] He told him if he gave him time he would raise the money and pay him

 [B] These were the exact same words the first servant said to his lord

Verse 30 - And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

 [A] Instead of being lenient and forgiving the debt as the fellow servant asked, the first servant had him
         bound and thrown into prison until the debt was paid.
 [B] Consider for a moment
         [1] When the first servant went to the Lord and sought leniency from him - What did the Lord do
                 [1-a] He forgave the debt
                 [2-a] He wiped the slate clean
         [2] How much did the servant owe his lord
                 [1-a] An innumerable amount
         [3] When the fellow servant went to the first servant and sought leniency from him, what did he
                 get
                 [1-a] He was bound and thrown into prison
                 [2-1] His debt was not forgiven, he was to remain in prison until the last cent was paid

Verse 31 - So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their
 lord all that was done.

 [A] When the other fellow servants seen what the servant had done to their friend, the went to the lord
         and told him
         [1] This is a circumstance Jesus threw into the story to make it a more consistent narrative.
         [2] It does not teach that other Christians should tell God what another brother of sister has done;
                 for he knows all the actions of his children, and doesn’t need us informing him.
         [3] On the other hand, I do believe that we should pray for the person who has treated their
                 brother or sister in such a manor - we should pray for them, as well as the person who
                 was harmed, and seek God’s help and mercy for both,

 [B] The thing I see even more so in this passage is how there are others watching the actions of all
         Christians, and they see the wrongs we do to others,          
         [1] Professing to be a Christian entails being a loving and kind person, one who forgives others,
                 and loves everyone
         [2] If those in the world around us see a person who is not willing to forgive, not willing to work
                 with someone who owes them, and without any patience they see a person whom in their
                 heart is as bad or worse than they are, making them wonder what is so special about being
                 a Christian in the first place.

Verse 32-33 -  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee
 all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow
 servant, even as I had pity on thee?

 [A] The Lord called the servant into accountability
         [1] Did I not forgive you a debt so large that it cannot be measured?
                 [a] I ask you, is not the sins God forgives us for, greater than anything we can measure
                 [b] Is not your salvation and your eternal life worth more than anything you can begin to
                         Imagine?
                 [c] Was not the payment for your sins, more costly than what the entire world is worth,
                         with the giving of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins?
                 [d] What if anything is worth more than what we received when we were forgiven and
                         became a child of God
         [2] Didn’t I forgive your debt simply because you asked me too?

 [B] If I was willing to forgive you your great debt, Should you not  have forgiven your fellow servant for
         his small debt?
         [1] Of course the answer is yes
         [2] How can we expect God to forgive us such debts as our sins, if we are unwilling to forgive
                 our fellowmen for their trespasses against us.  
         [3] What can anyone do to us, that is as great as what we did to our God?

Verse 34 - And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto
 him.

 [A] The lord was very upset
         [1] He had the servant bound and delivered to prison
         [2] He was to remain there until he paid his debt to him.

Verse 35 -   So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother
 their trespasses.

 [A] This verse contains the moral of this parable.
         [1] When Christ explains one of his parables, we are to receive it just as like he explained it, and
                 not attempt to draw spiritual instruction from any parts or circumstances which he has not
                 explained.

 [B] The following seems to be the particulars of the general truth which he meant to teach:
         [1] Our sins are great.
         [2] God freely forgives them.
         [3] The offences committed against us by our brethren are comparatively small compared to the
                 sins we commit against God.
         [4]We should, freely forgive others
         [5] If we do not, God will be angry with us, and he will punish us.

 [C] The words “from your hearts“
         [1] These means that we are not to forgive merely in words
         [2] We are to forgive from our heart feeling and act towards the person as if he they had never
                 offended us in the first place.

 [D] The word “Trespasses“ means
         [1] Offences against you
         [2] Injuries
         [3] Remarks and or actions that are designed to do wrong.