The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been looking at the parables of Jesus. Jesus Christ gave 32 parables as recorded in the bible. So far we have studied 31 of those parables and today we will be looking at the last parable.

I will like to thank you all for following through. Thanks for reading, commenting, liking and sharing these parables. I have learnt a lot from them and I hope I can say same for you.

Today we will be studying The Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor. This parable can be found in Matthew 18:23-35. Please I’m encouraging you to read this bible passage here before reading the interpretation.


Before we go into this, I will highly recommend that you read this post so you understand what forgiveness is not. I feel that this is very important so we don’t continue to subject ourselves to abuse.

Recommended post: What forgiveness is not

Now that we know what this post is not suggesting, let’s see what it’s saying.

Just to give you a brief background of what was happening in this parable, Peter came to Jesus asking Him how many times he should forgive someone. The rabbis have been teaching that forgiveness is important but that it should only be done 3 times. So Peter was actually generous by suggesting seven times.

To his greatest surprise, his standard wasn’t high enough. His perfect number of 7 didn’t cut it. Jesus replied by saying seventy times seven times. If you haven’t done the maths, that is 490 times. It’s important to point out that this isn’t a literal number. What Jesus was saying in essence is that we shouldn’t even keep track of the amount of times we have to forgive. He then went ahead to give this parable to buttress His point.

The man who was forgiven is us. The person who forgave is God. The second man who needed forgiveness represents others who we have refused to forgive.

This parable is pretty much telling us that if God is willing to put up with our mess and forgive us daily, then we have no right to not forgive others. Ouch! Did you feel that? Was that too blunt?

Well listen. I sat with this for a few days thinking about how to explain it in a nicer way and to be honest the parable is very straightforward and it doesn’t require much talking.

Some of us find a thousand and one reasons not to forgive. Jesus Christ used this parable to show us a picture of how selfish we can be despite knowing that we equally fall short and He forgives us anyway. We are very good at seeking for forgiveness from God whilst withholding mercy from others.

“Well I’m out of here. I don’t have time to read this very insensitive post.”

“I was betrayed”.

“I was deeply hurt”.

“Do you know how it feels to be raped, abused, molested?”

“Do you know the feeling of being told that someone you know killed someone you love?”

“Have you ever been abandoned?”

These might be some of the thoughts going through your mind as you read this. Please i’m by no means downplaying your level of pain and hurt. What was done to you wasn’t right. And i might not be able to understand totally what you are going through. I’m not trying to tell you not to express your dissatisfaction about what happened to you. All i’m saying based on the word of God is that there is no offense that is unforgivable.

I want to remind us that forgiveness frees us. It liberates us from the shackles that have been put around us. When we don’t forgive, we are giving continuous power to our offender to control us. We are subjecting ourselves to be under their power. We are preventing ourselves from experiencing the freedom and peace that comes with letting go.

Forgiveness is very doable because God will not ask us to do something He knows we cannot do. We have the Holy Spirit to help us if we allow Him and do what He tells us to do.

Unforgiveness is a sin and it separates us from God. Would you rather be held bound by pain and tied to the very thing that continues to torment you. Or would you prefer to experience the liberating power of forgiveness. Choose wisely.

But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15

This series ended with a challenge but i think it’s one we have to be reminded of. Did you enjoy this series? Please let me know in the comment section?

If you would like to read previous parables, please click here.

17 thoughts on “The Parables of Jesus Series | Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

  1. Hi Efua,
    My first visit. Just getting back into the blogging world again. Forgiveness is fundamental to keeping us in right standing to be honest. Jesus gave us The Lords prayer as a template. In it it says and forgive us our trespasses as we for those who trespass against us. So Foregiveness is caveated by how we live each day. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. There is a standard that builds integrity. Great encouragement!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey sis! Welcome to my blog. It’s great having you here and I hope that this blog will help you in your Christian walk.

      I totally agree with your comment. We sometimes forget about the caveat. Great reminder😊


  2. Hi Efua, I must say that this piece ministered peace to my soul. It has given me the right perspective about forgiveness.

    I have always preached and try to practice forgiveness but now I think I am fully persuaded to let go all offences.
    Thank you. Be blessed always.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Efua, Thank you for your commitment to this parable series. You challenged me and shone light on details of parables that I had previously overlooked. I look forward to your next series. May the Lord continue to bless your writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great series! I enjoy how down to earth your writing is. I probably will never meet you on this earth, but it will be my great pleasure to see you in Heaven! You are a delightful little sister who knows and writes about truth. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi big sister😁. Your comment made me a little teary. I love how heaven focused you are. Your comments and your blog posts reflects where your treasure is. You challenge me to yearn towards heaven more instead of allowing the things of this world distract me. You are an amazing lady. And I can’t wait to give you a very big hug in Heaven😁.
      I will be back as before soon and your blog is one I’m definitely looking forward to reading. I love you sis❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve gone over this parable on my blog when the Lord clarified and challenged me with it. Thanks for bringing it back before me. I need to keep forgiveness ever before me. As Dan Mohler says, the people who hurt you were dry cups; they didn’t have any love to give and it dries your own cup when you hold the hurts against them. As Apostle Paul said, I endeavor to owe others nothing but love. I pray we all grow deeper in the love and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father and Messiah. Yes, I’m so eager to see all the people I’m meeting virtually in Heaven! What a glorious, eternal day we have to look forward to!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “the people who hurt you were dry cups; they didn’t have any love to give and it dries your own cup when you hold the hurts against them.” So good!

      We all need reminders now and again. Heaven will be so fun! It will be great to see you there and give you a massive hug 🙂


  6. This really drives home the definition of what true forgiveness really is. I definitely struggled with this in the past, but like it states in the parable if God can forgive, so can we and so we must also be able to always forgive. It’s a horrible thought to think that when this life is over and we are faced with the question from God why couldn’t you forgive as I forgave you? …What unimaginable and painful fate we would be faced with if we never forgave those who did us wrong, which we are all inevitably faced with at some point or other life, in various challenges, trials and tribulations. Thank you for this post, God bless and blessings 🙏🏽😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “It’s a horrible thought to think that when this life is over and we are faced with the question from God why couldn’t you forgive as I forgave you?” Food for thought. Thanks for sharing this! I’m glad you were blessed by this post

      Liked by 1 person

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