Matthew 18:21-35 (NIV)
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus 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. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25Since 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“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The 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 denarii. 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 you back.’
30“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed 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. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
I. Introduction: Failure to forgive indicates a wicked minimization of our own sin and a cruel exaggeration of the sins of others against us.
II. The Mercy Expected Of Us Is Unlimited: Forgiveness Repeated
a. The Repeated Sin
b. The Repeated Forgiveness
III. The Mercy Extended To Us Is Enormous: Forgiveness Received
a. A Great Debt
b. A Great Mercy
IV. The Mercy Lacking From Us Is Shameful: Forgiveness Refused
a. The Mercy Requested: A Small Debt
b. The Mercy Refused: A Great Crime
V. The Mercy Forfeited By Us Is Costly: Forgiveness Required
a. Lack Of Forgiveness Arouses The Anger Of God
b. Lack Of Forgiveness Provokes The Judgment of God
VI. Conclusion: Forgive as you would be forgiven. Show mercy as you would be shown mercy.