The unforgiving servant


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Slides for a talk on Matthew 18 - the unforgiving servant

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The unforgiving servant

  1. 1. Matthew 18: The unforgiving servant Kingdom living
  2. 2. Birth and Preparation for Jesus (1-4) 1. Sermon on the Mount (5-7) Narrative Section : Deed Ministry: Miracles (8-9) 2. Mission of the Disciples (10) Narrative Section : Teaching and Preaching in Galilee (11-12) 3. Kingdom Parables (13) Narrative Section : Healing in Galilee (14-17) 4. Church Discipline or Communal Rule (18) Narrative Section : Membership in the kingdom (19-23) 5. Eschatology (24-25) Narrative Section : Passion and Resurrection (26-28) Structure of Matthew’s Gospel
  3. 3. The intended audience of Matthew’s gospel is Jewish listeners Kingdom of heaven and kingdom of God mean the same thing Luke 4: 43 But he said, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent." Luke 4:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God . Matt. 4:17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Matt. 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven .
  4. 4. 21 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Forgiveness must be unlimited!
  5. 5.   23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven [NIV is like …] may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. Talent = 20 years’ wages
  6. 6. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. Why? Jubilee
  7. 7. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. Denarii = a day’s wages for a labourer or foot soldier
  8. 8. Basanistas = torturers, not merely jailers 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.
  9. 9. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." An echo of the Lord’s prayer: forgive us our sins as we have forgive those who sins against us’ . The Aramaic, khaba = sins and debts Matthew 6: 12 uses debts: ‘ … and forgive us our debts ( opheilhema ) , as we have forgiven our debtors ( aphiemi ) ’. Luke 11: 4 uses sins and debts: ‘… and forgive us our sins (hamartia) as we forgive everyone who is indebted (opheilo) to us’
  10. 10. "We read the gospel as if we had no money, and we spend our money as if we know nothing of the gospel." John Haughey
  11. 11. 1. Forgiveness is not ‘never mind’ 2. Forgiveness is not weakness 3. Forgiveness is not easy 4. Forgiveness is not forgetting Four things forgiveness is not: …
  12. 12. 1. Forgiveness is a choice 2. Forgiveness is giving up revenge 3. Forgiveness brings freedom 4. Forgiveness is a process Forgiveness is … … a letting go and cancelling a debt. The Greek word used is aphiemi , = ‘send off’, ‘ release’
  13. 13. How can I forgive? I need justice! It hurts too much …. It’s too difficult!!
  14. 14. - we didn't say sorry, we didn't make the first move So should we forgive Remember: It’s a choice God has forgiven us
  15. 15. Pray for a revelation of how great the Father’s love and forgiveness is Ask the Lord for help