Remembering 9/11

11/09/11 12:17 PM

Matthew 18;21-35

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a]

   23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[b] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

   26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

   28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[c] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

   29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

   30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

   32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

   35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

  1. Matthew 18:22 Or seventy times seven
  2. Matthew 18:24 Greek ten thousand talents; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wages.
  3. Matthew 18:28 Greek a hundred denarii; a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see 20:2).

Three surprises in the parable of the unforgiving servant:

1. A significant part of our life will be people doing things to us we don’t deserve.

2. Evidently we’ve done far worse to God than has been done to us by these out-of-the-blue problem people.

A. Three ways we seem to rack up debt:

1. we judge

2. we fear

3. we complain

3. We’re given unexpected resourses to triumph each time we get jumped like this.

What might be a Jesus-based response to 9/11?

1. Renounce fear, judgement and complaint

2. Come in an opposite spirit

3. Choose today to do this toward all who have wronged you.

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