There are 5 main things that we value.
The Unmerciful Servant
Today we are going to start a series called “Short Stories” The Parables of Jesus.
I love reading parables.
Parables are short stories that Jesus would tell that would pack a big truth about the Kingdom of God
A lot of times these would come about because someone would ask Jesus a question.
Jesus would then tell a fictional story that people could relate to and then explain how the Kingdom of God works.
We felt like it was important that we take time to teach about why we value each of these.
Today we are going to talk about the “Unmerciful Servant”
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?
Up to seven times?”
It’s one thing to see a sign that says that or to hear us say that, but it’s another to actually UNDERSTAND the reasoning behind it.
So Peter asks Jesus how often should he forgive those who sin against him?
UP TO 7 TIMES?
So we want to share with you the heart behind City Church.
In Peter’s mind that was a HUGE number.
So this morning I’m going to start by talking about The Power of the Word!
Some rabbis taught that you should forgive up to three times for a sin against you.
Why is it important that we read the Bible?
We’re going to talk about 4 things the Word does for us when we read it.
So it’s kind of like hey I’m gonna forgive three times but on the fourth I’m gonna Chuck Norris roundhouse kick you in the face!
You see the fact of the matter is that a majority of CHRISTIANS don’t read their Bible.
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.
25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him.
‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’
27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.
He grabbed him and began to choke him.
‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused.
Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.
31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in.
‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”
I’ve seen studies that say 80% of Christians don’t read their Bible Monday - Saturday.
I promise you he never thought Jesus would counter with 77 times or the original wording is 70 x 7.
Others have said 40% - 50% read it once or twice a week.
You see Jesus wasn’t saying to forgive up to 490 times
He was using hyperbole.
The bottom line is that Christians are not in the Word on a consistent basis.
The point Jesus was making is that forgiveness is inexhaustible.
And I believe that is a big reason why our culture is having such an impact on believers.
So he used the example of a man who owed a debt to the king that he could never repay.
Because we really don’t know what the Word of God says about certain issues.
10,000 bags of gold was millions of dollars today
So today I want to share 4 things the Word does for us.
But the king forgives his debt.
Our theme scripture for today is 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
Then he goes back and finds a fellow servant who owed him a small amount compared to what he owed, probably around $20, and he demanded from him.
It’s important that we understand that.
They told the king and the king punished the man greatly by having him tortured until he could repay his debt.
That when we read the Bible we are reading the actual word of God.
Yes men wrote it but they were inspired by the Holy Spirit which means we can have confidence in what we are reading.
Now we read up to that part and we say, “YEAH, he got what he deserved!
What a jerk.”
And all of a sudden Jesus turns it around where now we’re like, “oh crap!”
1 Thessalonians 2:13 “And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
The Word Strengthens Your Faith.
Verse 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
You see because we tend to look at other people and want certain rules to apply to them but not us.
Romans 10:17 “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
So how can our faith come or “grow” through the Word?
Little things like driving down the road and you want to get over and somebody doesn’t let you in and you get ticked.
Because God speaks to us through His Word.
But then the next day you’re driving and someone wants to get over in your lane and you speed up and don’t let them in.
How many times have you been going through something in your life and you open your Bible and you read a verse that was speaking right to you?
Jesus is saying that it’s easy to look at this story and agree with the punishment that was given but the truth is the same rule applies to us.
I remember in a critical time in my life when this happened to me.
We are called to FORGIVE just as God has forgiven us.
My wife and I were going through a difficult time in our lives.
You see that’s the point of the story.
Because of our sin we owe God this incredible debt that we could never pay back.
I was unemployed, we were trying to start a family, etc.
One day when I was feeling overwhelmed and frustrated with God I was reading my Bible and I came across this verse.
But because of his unbelievable grace He sent Jesus to die on a cross and PAY for our debt so that we could spend eternity in heaven with Him.
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
And in turn because of the unbelievable debt that we’ve been forgiven of, naturally He expects us to forgive those who have hurt us and sinned against us.
Because no matter what anyone has ever done to you, it doesn’t compare to what JESUS HAS DONE FOR YOU!
That verse just jumped off the page at me.
You see the Bible actually tells us that we ARE going to have opportunities to get offended.
I KNEW it was God speaking to us.
NKJV “Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come…”
And after that my faith grew stronger.
I knew God was with me and had a plan.
You WILL have opportunity to hold on to unforgiveness.
You see when you read the Word God gives you Revelation.
The question is how do you respond?
It’s like an aha moment.
Because for some reason we think by holding on to this unforgiveness that we’re hurting that person.