The Ungrateful Servant
One day Simon Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall I
for give my brother if he sins against me? Shall I forgive him seven times?"
Jesus replied, "I do not say that you shall forgive him seven times only, but seventy times seven."
Peter was surprised. Could he ever forgive a man that many times?
Jesus told Peter a story about a king whose servant owed him much money. The king called this servant and asked him to pay the
debt, but the servant could not. The king said, "Because you cannot pay the money you borrowed, I command that you, your wife, and
your children be sold, and that all you own be taken away from you. In this way I can get back some of the money you borrowed."
The servant fell on his face before the king, crying, "0 King, have patience with me and I will pay every penny I owe!"
Because the king felt sorry for the man, he said, "I will forgive all the debt, and you need not try to pay it back."
When this servant left the king, he met a poor man who had borrowed only a few dollars from him. He asked the man to pay it
back, but the man could not. The servant became so angry that he took the poor man by the throat and cried, "Pay back what you
borrowed or I will throw you into prison!"
The poor man fell to his knees and pleaded, "Have patience with me, and I
will pay every penny I owe."
The king's servant would not listen. Because
the poor man had no money, the king's servant threw him into prison.
Other servants of the king felt sad when they
saw how unkindly this poor man had been treated, and they told the king.
The king was surprised. Quickly he sent for the
unkind servant In anger the king told him, "O wicked man, I forgave all
your debt because you could not pay. Should you not have been willing to forgive
the small debt your poor neighbor owed even as I forgave you? Now you will go to
prison until you pay all you ever owed."
When Jesus finished the story, he said to
Peter, "If you do not forgive from your heart the wrongdoings of others,
neither will your heavenly Father forgive you."