How Great A Debtor

May 8, 2015


Celebrate Jesus.crimsonjpg

SCRIPTURE

God made you alive with Christ, and he forgave all our sins. He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross.

~Colossians 2:13-14, NCV

QUOTE

I had a debt I could not pay, Jesus He paid the debt He did not owe.

~Author Unknown

my thoughts red

In Matthew 18 Jesus is teaching on ‘forgiveness’ and He tells the story about two debtors. The first debtor owned the king 10,000 Talents of gold. This is a huge debt amounting to 60 million dollars. Working in a debtors prison for the normal days wage, it would take the man 165,000 years to work off the debt. Some believe Jesus, the master story teller, was using the hyperbole to illustrate how impossible it was for the man to repay the debt. The man begged for mercy and the king forgave the debt.

It would be great if the story ended here but the man who receives forgiveness goes out and finds someone who owes him 100 silver coins [100 days of wages] and when the man begged for mercy, the unjust steward grants no mercy but has him thrown into prison.

I want to focus my thoughts on the man who owed more than he could possibly pay. This man represent us: we have amassed a huge sin debt that it is impossible for us to pay. The only hope we have is God’s mercy which He manifested in Christ. We have accumulated a sin debt we can’t possibly pay; not in 2,222 life times, with each of those lives being sinless.

He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay: I needed someone to wash my sins away. And now I have a brand new song, “Amazing Grace.”

Hallelujah, what a SAVIOR!

Revival Strip

  • Mother’s Day Schedule: LCBS at 9:15, Worship Celebration at 10:15 and then ROSES FOR MAMA!
  • May 17 is SENIOR DAY in the AM service.
  • May 17 Baccalaureate at 6:00.

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BIBLE STUDY PREVIEW [MAY 10]

STICK WITH FORGIVENESS

Icebreaker: When did you last fix or repair something that was costly?

SCRIPTURE

Matthew 18:21-34, NLT

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

23 “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. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.25 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.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 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.

29 “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. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 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. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Introduction: Sometimes we try to save money by going the “Cheap” route but it does not always pan out. The cheap motel room may not have a pest control contract. The old adage, “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite,” may come into play. I am all for sales and saving money but sometimes we get what we pay for. I have learned that there are some areas where we do not want to be cheap: shoes, mattresses, chairs, tools, etc. Some things are worth paying for. June made monthly payments on our mattress for three years but it was a great investment. The mattress we sleep on cost more the brand new car we bought after graduating Seminary. The monthly payment was higher than on our first two new cars.

We live in a broken world; A world that has been cursed by sin and rebellion. In this broken society relationships are hard to manage. Proof of this is the escalating number of divorces. A divorce is evidence of a relationship that has gone bad. Because we all say and do things that hurt others, forgiveness is an absolute necessity in any enduring relationships. If you keep records and hold grudges, it will be all but impossible for you to have any enduring relationships. You will have friends for two or three years and then you’ll have to start over.

The Story Jesus tells in Matthew 18 teaches us that forgiveness is not an option: we must forgive if we want to be forgiven. Note the last three verses…

33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

This Theme [Forgiving others] is repeated often in the Bible

  • Mark 6:15– But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
  • Mark 11:25But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
  • Luke 6:37–“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.
  • Luke 11:14  Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation.”
  • Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
  • James 2:13 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.
  • Matthew 5:7–God blesses those who are merciful,  for they will be shown mercy.

The Rabbis taught that we are to forgive up to 3 times so Peter thought he was on to something when he said 7 but Jesus was not impressed: He said, “No, seventy times seven,” which equals 490. Did Jesus intend for us to keep count of offenses and when we get to 491, we lower the boom.

The story Jesus tells features two debtors: the first owed 60,000,000 denari [60 million days wages]. This was an enormous debt that he could not possibly pay. He begged for mercy and mercy was granted. Instead of leaving the presence of the king rejoicing over his new lease on life, he goes out and finds a man that owes him 100 days wages which is a tiny fraction of what he had just had forgiven. He lays hands on him, refuses to show mercy and has the man thrown into prison. When the king finds out what he has done, he is furious.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

  1. How is forgiveness costly?
  2. What takes place when you forgive someone?
  3. Is it wise to keep track of offenses in a relationship, especially marriage?
  4. Why do we withhold forgiveness when God has been so gracious to forgive us?
  5. Which is greater: our sins against God or the sins of others against us?
  6. What makes forgiveness so hard?
  7. What are some barriers to forgiveness?

Thoughts To Ponder

  1. Who takes the initiative in forgiveness?
  2. We can choose to forgive but others may not choose to forgive us.
  3. Who in your circle of relatives and friends to you need to be reconciled with?
  4. Give this lesson some thought: surely there is no one that has absolutely no relational problems.
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