This Sunday is the first Sunday in the season of Lent. We will begin a six week series called Surrender. Each week, we will look at one of Jesus’ teachings or an example from his life about giving up. This week, we will discuss forgiveness. To forgive is to surrender. We give up revenge and place the wrongdoing in God’s hands. Let me encourage you to read the passage as you prepare for worship on Sunday. I will include it below in N.T. Wright’s translation.
(Matthew 18:21-35 NTE) Then Peter came to Jesus.“Master,” he said, “how many times must I forgive my brother when he sins against me? As many as seven times?” “I wouldn’t say seven times,” replied Jesus. “Why not – seventy times seven?” “So, you see,” he went on, “the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle up accounts with his servants. As he was beginning to sort it all out, one man was brought before him who owed ten thousand talents. He had no means of paying it back, so the master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and everything he possessed, and payment to be made. “So the servant fell down and prostrated himself before the master.” “Be patient with me,” he said, “and I’ll, pay you everything!” “The master was very sorry for the servant, and let him off. He forgave him the loan. “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred dinars. He seized him and began to throttle him. “Pay me back what you owe me!” he said. “The colleague fell down and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I’ll, pay you!” “But he refused, and went and threw him into prison until he could pay the debt. “So when his fellow-servants saw what had happened, they were very upset. They went and informed their master about the whole affair. Then his master summoned him.” “You"re a scoundrel of a servant!” he said to him. “I let you off the whole debt, because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have taken pity on your colleague, like I took pity on you?” “His master was angry, and handed him over to the torturers, until he had paid the whole debt. And that’s what my heavenly father will do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother or sister from your heart.”