The Savior's Question Concerning Forgiveness
January 25, 2009
INTRODUCTION: Does forgiveness have a limit? This story deals with both emotions and actions of the merciful and the merciless.
1. Anger Compassion
2. Prison Release
3. Choking Forgiveness
It is in the text that we see the Measurement of Forgiveness, the Merciful in Forgiveness, the Merciless in Forgiveness, and the Message Concerning Forgiveness.
Forgiveness is not natural to humanity. People, by and large, find it very difficult to forgive. King Louis XII of France articulated the feeling of many people when he said, "Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy."
Yet nothing so characterizes the new nature of Christians as forgiveness, because nothing so characterizes the nature of their Lord. Jesus, after being betrayed, falsely accused, beaten, spit upon, and unjustly nailed to a cross to die an agonizing death, the Son of God harbored no hatred for His tormentors, but instead offered them forgiveness.
Forgiveness reflects the highest human virtue, because it so clearly reflects the character of God. A person who forgives is a person who emulates godly character.
I. THE MEASUREMENT OF FORGIVENESS. 21-22
.2l Jewish tradition taught 3 times; Peter doubled the number, and added one for good measure. Peter thought he was showing great faith and love when he offered to forgive at least 7 times; generosity?
.22 Speaks of the immeasurable and unlimited terms of grace; 7x7=49x10=490. Peter doubled his number and added one, Jesus went to multiplied twice.
For all practical purposes, the number was beyond counting. I Cor. 13:5 (NIV) "love keeps no record of wrongs"
By the time we have forgiven a brother this many times, we are in the habit of forgiving.
II. THE MERCIFUL IN FORGIVENESS. 23-27
A. THE DEBT. 24
10,000 talents, in the economy of that day, a man would have had to work 20 ye ...
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