September 16, 2023

Forgiveness is the Gift of Mercy

The parable of the Unmerciful Servant is a reminder of who we are, whose we are and what is expected of us. The readings remind us that like the Hebrews we have been rescued by God, are part of His Kingdom and under divine judgement. We are servants and not ‘the boss of ourselves’. We will be judged by our love of Jesus and our neighbour. Forgiveness and mercy from the heart is a test of that love.


1.    We are challenged to remember who we are

Servanthood is very counter-cultural to us. Our society is obsessed with individual rights. We have forgotten that behind individual rights there must be order and responsibilities. The servant has forgotten who he is. He has taken the place of the master in judging and punishing the other servant. 

·     He has forgotten that they are both servants 

·     As servants it is not their place to judge other servants.

·     That is the role of the master. 

·     This is a serious failure to love God and our neighbour


2.    Mercy is to be passed on

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy." (Matthew 5.7

Forgiveness and mercy are a personal gifts. Nobody has a ‘right’ to mercy or be forgiven. Law and justice are the opposite of forgiveness and mercy:

·      But love fulfills the law and may override justice if there is repentance from and the mercy is passed on

·      Forgiveness and mercy are not rights (except to woke liberals)

·      Mercy and forgiveness is not automatic

·      Forgiveness and mercy are personal gifts


3.    Unforgiveness is a failure to love God and neighbour

We must "…forgive your brother from the heart. If we do not truly forgive, we are ‘keeping a record of wrongs’ (1. Cor 13.5):

·      We have not given up the right to revenge and justice

·      We have poisoned our soul with anger and bitterness

·      We have failed to love God, our neighbour and show mercy

·      This is an unforgivable sin that pollutes our soul

·      Separates us from our neighbour 

·      May make it impossible to be in God’s holy presence when we die

·      Unforgiveness is a salvation issue

·      Unforgiveness is the most common and most destructive sin because it cannot be forgiven

·      We are like the unmerciful servant who is to be jailed and tortured until he repays “10,000 bags of gold”

o  One bag of gold is roughly one talent which would be a years’ worth of daily wages – i.e. Eternity

o  Good news is that unforgiveness can be healed through prayer ministry by repentance and asking Holy Spirit to give the person the strength to forgive or at least the desire to forgive


4. Our Judgment is often self-judgment

We are often revealing hidden things in our heart. Whatever makes you really angry is often the hidden sin in your life. 

The bottom line of this Parable is the song words "to love justice, do mercy and walk humbly with our God."

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