“Then Peter came to him and asked,
“Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a]who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him.
In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened.
Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers
and sisters from your heart.”
Matthew 18:21-35 NLT
One thing I am passionate about is justice.
Unless we’re referring to me.
At least that’s what I’m realizing.
I want God to look on me with grace.
I want others to give me grace.
But I don’t always want to do the same for others.
In Matthew 18 we get to see more of Peter. This encounter with Peter confirms my suspicions that he and I are a lot alike…
Peter asks an excellent question of Jesus, “How many times should I forgive someone?” then, with his chest puffed out he suggests, “Seven times?”
I bet Peter was pretty proud of that answer. I mean- the same person, offending you seven times? Surely that is plenty of chances. I mean, enough is enough, right? I, too, feel pretty good about myself when I write off an offense.
But Jesus isn’t impressed.
“No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!”
Woah there! What?
I bet Peter choked on his own air.
Then Jesus continues, using this parable to change Peter’s perspective, and ours.
In the parable Jesus tells, the servant owes not just a lifetime of debt to the king, but several lifetimes worth of debt.
In other words: he could never repay it.
When you think of those millions of dollars, isn’t it crazy to think that the king would possess so much mercy that he would simply write it off at the request of the servant?
But that’s what God does for us. Extravagant grace.
Galatians 3:13 tells us, “Christ paid the price to free us from the curse that the laws in Moses’ Teachings bring by becoming cursed instead of us…” (GW)
In other words, He took the debt upon Himself.
Man. If someone walked in my life right now and paid off the debt I owe (not nearly millions), I would like to think I would respond differently than this guy – Jesus continues:
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.” (verse 28)
Seriously, dude. That’s ridiculous.
Until I begin to realize… that’s me.
Every time I hold someone at arm’s length.
Every time I don’t accept the apology.
Every time I choose to walk in offense.
Grabbing them by the throat and demanding payment.
And for what reasons--
Because they hurt my feelings?
Because they gossiped behind my back?
Because they aired their opinion?
How many times have I walked in disobedience to God’s will?
How many countless sins have I deliberately committed?
How many times have I offended Christ even just today?
The more I see my own need for God’s grace in my own life, the more freely I can offer it to others.
I’m realizing that this requires a habit I’ve gotten out of the practice of doing—confession.
I often choose not to bring up my own faults before God. I mean, I’d rather talk about something a little more uplifting, right?
"I’m already forgiven once and for all, through Christ!" I justify.
As if my pretense fools Him.
But confession is not for God’s sake.
He already knows me inside and out.
He knows my darkest thoughts, and my every move.
And He has forgiven me for past, present and future.
But what I’m realizing is that confession is for my sake.
It reminds me I’m human.
It reminds me of my need for a Savior.
And it reminds me that those who are forgiven much, forgive much.
May I never take His extravagant grace for granted.
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Rooted Moms founder, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.