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Forgiveness Without Limits

A Journey With Matthew  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
Pledge
Passage:

21 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.”

Title: Forgiveness Without Limits

Segway:
If you remember this journey we have been on with Matthew has revealed “Extraordinary” things.
“Extraordinary Insight to Christ”
Chapter 1-2 “Extraordinary Birth”
Chapter 3-4 “Extraordinary Baptism”
Chapter 5-7 “Extraordinary Words” (Sermon on the Mount)
Chapter 8-9 “Extraordinary Deeds”
Chapter 10 “Extraordinary Team” (Calling of the Disciples)
Chapter 11 “Extraordinary Preaching and Teaching”
Chapter 12 “Extraordinary Accusations” (3 all dealing with the Sabbath)
Chapter 13 “Extraordinary Parables”
Chapter 14-15 “Extraordinary Miracles” (Feeding of the 4000/5000 walking on water)
Chapter 16 – 17:13 “Extraordinary Retreat” (Revealing who Christ is … the Messiah SOTLG)
Chapter 17:14- 18:35 “Extraordinary Relationship”
Today, we will be wrapping up this section on “Extraordinary Relationship”
If you remember, this section started with one Question, “Who is the greatest?”
Honor/Shame Society
What was going to be their relational status in heaven?
(1) Jesus shares with them that if they don’t change their relationship status NOW, they were not entering the Kingdom of Heaven.
(4) Not Greatest but least (humility)
(5-6) Not Exclusion but inclusion (receiving)
(7-9) Not causing (sin) but extracting (sin)
Public and Private
(10-21) Not despising but restoring (the 99 and the 1 lost sheep)
This is all about this Extraordinary relationship aspect Jesus is revealing.
This brings us to where we are today .....
(21-35) Not condemning but forgiving.
Body:
Peter ask a question, “Who is the greatest in the K.O.H.?”
Peter starts this pericope off with another question, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?
To help understand, specifically, what Peter is asking let me reread this question for us American to understand, “Jesus, how many times do I let my knucklehead brothers of the faith sin against me before I cut them off?”
Peter is evaluating the situation to see what i
The word “Forgive” in this passage is defined as (releasing someone from a legal or moral obligation or consequence.)
So Peter and the disciples want to know how many times can someone sin against them before they am no longer required to forgive them?
He tries to give an answer to the question, “7 times?”
This number is considered a HOLY number and this was far more than what the Rabbinic law taught .....
3 times!
Jesus’ answer is so cool.
“I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
Some scholars have this down as “Seventy times Seven” and others “Seventy-seven time”
But to understand the answer you have to understand the question.
When you look at the question you read Peter asking how many times do I forgive a brother who has sinned against me?
The word “SIN” is singular.
So, Jesus’ answer is directed to ONE SPECIFIC Sin.
And THAT sin, you are to forgive 77/490 times!
And let just be honest, by the 77/490 time you have lost track of how many times it has been .....
And that’s the point Jesus is making .....
Whether it be 77th time or the 490th time “FORGIVE” limit-less-ly!
whether it be 78 time or the 491st time
And then to help make His point he shares a parable .....
(23) He compares the Kingdom of Heaven like that of a King who wished to settle the accounts with his servants.
The word “servant” is understood to be a governor or a (Sa-trap)
One of their responsibilities is to collect taxes from the providence they oversaw.
Remember, this is a comparison to the Kingdom of heaven .....
Follower of Christ are “Sa-trap’s”
There will come a day when we will come before the king (Jesus) and have to settle our debt (Give account).
(24) There was a specific servant who owed “Ten-Thousand talents” (60-100 million dollars)!
This figure is given to make a point.
Its not so much the total dollar amount as it is the fact that a person could not repay this debt off in ones lifetime.
We, as followers of Christ, have a debt that needs to be repaid (Sin) but we cannot repay it.
(25) This servant could not repay this debt so the King ordered the servant to be SOLD along with his family.
Please understand, this was standard practice of that day.
This would be just like today’s laws ..... if you don’t pay your debts (in some cases) you go to jail!
(26) The servant does something that I believe many of us don’t do enough of today ......
Falls on his knees and implores the King .... “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.”
The word used here is the same word we would use for “WORSHIP”!
Its this acknowledgement of who we are dealing with and who we are, in reference to this person (Deity) .
Let’s be honest ..... the debt he owed was to much for him do pay it back. Not in his lifetime!
And that was the point Jesus was making, “A debt to much for man to repay.”
(27) Out of “Pity”
This word is found 11 times in the N.T. (2) Pity; (9) Compassion
The Master (King) “forgave”
.... same word found in Vs 21: to release from the legal/moral obligation or consequence.
Are you as grateful as I am that we serve a King (God) who has forgiven us of our sin’s?
All because we have humbled ourselves “Fallen on our knees) and asked for forgiveness.”
Apparently this servant wasn’t as grateful!
Look what he does ......
(28 - 30) This servant immediately went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him money.
“100 denarii” 3 month wage
This was to be compared to the debt he was JUST forgiven of (1/600,000)
Physical violence is part of the attempt to be repaid.
The other servant falls down and pleads with the man owed
The servant refused his plea and has this servant put into prison.
(31) Their fellow servants saw what had taken place they ratted him out to the King.
(32-33) The King summons the servant .....
calls him a wicked servant!
The King asked a rhetorical question, “should you not have forgiven as I forgave you?” “Should you not have showed mercy as I showed mercy on you?”
(35) Jesus reveals then, “So also my heavenly Father will do to everyone of you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
PAUSE
Climax:
So how many times are we to forgive?
Limit-less-ly
There are consequences when it comes to “Forgiveness.”
As the servant found out .... if we don’t forgive, we are not forgiven!
I wonder if we all truly understand today that when it comes to forgiving someone, if we don’t its a SIN!
We are commanded by Christ to forgive!
The scriptures reveal consequences when it comes to forgiveness:
Forgiveness has an INTERNAL consequence!
And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Why is this so significant?
Galations 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
I don’t want to forgive them but, because of the Spirit that dwells within me “I choose to forgive them.”
17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
Forgiveness has an INTERNAL consequence!
Forgiveness has an Earthly Consequence!
(For others)
Turn to 2 Cor 2:5-7 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough,
or (For oursleves)
7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Forgiveness has Earthly Consequences!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Forgiveness has an Eternal Consequence!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
.... and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
b. This sounds very similar to what states, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
Conclusion:
I’m reminded (as many of you may remember this story) about a lady at one of my churches who during service asked to speak.
She stood up and walked up front and asked another lady to come forward.
I knew the story of the 2 and was concerned about what was going to take place.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
The one lady had an affair with the other ladies husband.
She forgave the lady and they embraced.
WHAT A POWERFUL MOMENT for them as well as the church.
Another circumstance at another church ....
2 ladies who had not spoke for 10 years ....
Attended the same church over the entire period of time.
During a church service they sought each other out and forgave one another.
I want us to understand today, “Forgiveness is Limitless”
Its a commandment from Christ.
It has an internal, earthly, and eternal consequence.
PAUSE
So with all that stated, Who is it that you have not forgiven?
You know how know if you have not forgiven?
You state it like this, “I have forgiven them BUT.....”
What needs to take place today is we need to “Fall on our knees and cry out ....”
.... forgive them Father
.... I forgive them Father
.... Forgive Me Father
You might be saying, “They don’t deserve Forgiveness”
NEITHER DO WE!
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
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