Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, taught the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant in Matthew 18:21-35. It stresses us to recognize the importance of forgiveness as we have been forgiven by God.
Forgiveness is not a natural human quality. Our very nature at its core has a desire for revenge and personal retribution. But Christ was a living example of forgiveness. When we forgive, we exhibit a Christ-like character trait and will be the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
How much forgiveness do we want from God? Do we want him to forgive even our worst sin? Do we want him to forgive even if we fall and do it again? How many times? That is how much and how often God expects us to forgive others. Let us now go to the story of the Unforgiving Servant, which teaches us that forgiving others is part of our forgiveness.
Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant is an equivalence of sin as a debt. It deals with how we need to deal with offenses and sins against us.
Lessons on Forgiveness
This parable teaches four key lessons.
- There is no limit to forgiveness and we should forgive because we have been forgiven (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7). Humans are imperfect and will inevitably sin against God’s law. But God’s love is so boundless and unconditional that He gave us His only begotten Son to die for the redemption of our sins. Every day, God forgives us when we ask for His forgiveness. So, we should also forgive others.
- As we want God to forgive our trespasses completely and give us a clean slate to start all over again, we should forgive others the same way. We should forgive so that God will forgive our sins (Matthew 6:14-15). We should have humble and repentant hearts to ask for forgiveness and also to forgive.
- Every day in our actions and thought we sin. Our faithful God never keeps a record of the number of times we fall and ask for His forgiveness. We should also never keep a record of other people’s sins against us and forgive them as our Creator did. We should forgive others as it is in obedience to our Lord (Colossians 3:13; Ephesians 4:32).
- Many times we wonder why God does not answer our sincere prayers. The answer is an unforgiving heart. We should forgive so that our prayers are answered. (Mark 11:24-25). God not only expects us to forgive those who have wronged us, He expects us not to hold the person accountable for his or her sins any longer.
How can we forgive when we are hurt badly? It is against human nature, but we can forgive by faith. Whether we like it or not, we should choose to forgive. It is a conscious decision of our will regardless of how we feel.
When we come to know our God and had received His awesome grace in our life, we can no longer hold the wrongdoing of others against them as we realize the enormous debt of sin we have amassed against our Creator. If we do not forgive, it is very much rebelling against God who forgives us. It shows that we do not love Him truly enough to pardon our fellow human beings for the sins wrought against us. All need to be forgiven in Christ and our lives will then reflect the character of our redeemer.
Do you know that Christ not only removes our condemnation and considers us innocent, He declares us also as righteous? (2 Corinthians 5:21) Since Christ made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, we are acceptable to God due to the perfect work of Jesus on the cross.
Once we have accepted, confessed, and regretted our sin, we need to believe that God has forgiven us and He will restore our relationship with Him. Anyone who has experienced God’s forgiveness will exhibit this character to others.
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant will enable us to start a new day by forgiving others and renewing our relationship with our Almighty creator.
Read our awe-inspiring collection of Parables of Jesus Christ with lessons that can be applied to our daily lives.