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.