Unforgiving Servant (2)

  • Now, here comes what I believe to be the crux of this whole parable. Why are we angered at the conduct of this unjust servant? Why do we rejoice at the decision of the king to revoke his forgiveness to this rascal? And if the king is a metaphor for God, what kind of God is this that in anger revokes His forgiveness and condemns a person to eternal torture?

    If we as Christians are expected to forgive seventy times seven, why can’t God? Or is it possible that our angry response to the unjust servant is a telltale sign of our own unforgiving spirit? Why is it that God the Father can forgive us, yet we find it so difficult to forgive others? Could it be because we cannot align ourselves in the same position with God for the simple reason that God has never needed forgiveness? Since He never needed forgiveness, He is not hindered to forgive, but it is in His very nature to do so.

    Our refusal to forgive makes it impossible for us to understand and experience the forgiveness of God for us. It’s the same with receiving the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. If we don’t, we will not experience or understand true freedom in Christ Jesus.

    Having said all that, the lesson in the parable is not so much a demand to forgive or you won’t be forgiven. It’s more to reveal to us how easily we can judge others and be happy when they get what they deserve. Do we just simply smile and go about our way when we are treated unjustly by others? No, but we must remember that forgiveness is not equal to reconciliation. It is not an act, it is a decision.

    In this parable, the king cannot be equaled to God, because God will never leave us nor forsake us. Look at Ephesians 4:32. It says “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you”.

    So we see we are instructed to be kind and tenderhearted, forgiving one another. But look what it says. It doesn’t say so we can be forgiven. It says Jesus is our example and God HAS forgiven us for Jesus’ sake. It’s already done before we forgive. Colossians 2:13 says He has forgiven us all our trespasses. Past tense. Without conditions. He will not turn us over to our torturers. We do that to ourselves when we harbor ill will towards others. When we do that, it hinders us from entering into all that God already has prepared for us. It’s not God that’s withholding, it is we who are not in a position to receive.

    We know medically and scientifically that unforgiveness has affects on our health and can even lead to major illnesses. God does not turn us over to be tortured. The effects of unforgiveness can result in that occurring. That’s why He said forgive seventy times seven. It wasn’t a set goal of forgiving and then stop. It was a statement of infinity concerning forgiveness. I’m not saying it’s easy, only necessary. Not to obey a law or commandment, but to make sure we don’t hinder ourselves from all that God is trying to get to us in His forgiveness toward us.

    Taking this a step further. We must remember the immutable law of sowing and reaping. Galatians 6:7-10.

    7 make no mistake: God can’t be mocked. What you give is what you get. What you sow, you harvest. those who sow seeds into their flesh will only harvest destruction from their sinful nature. But those who sow seeds into the spirit shall harvest everlasting life from the spirit. may we never tire of doing what is good and right before our Lord because in his season we shall bring in a great harvest if we can just persist. 10 so seize any opportunity the Lord gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone, especially those within our faithful family.

    Calling the man a ‘wicked servant”, assuming to know the motives of his heart is judgement, not the observation of his heartless act. Jesus tells us this about that in Luke 6.

    35 If you want to be extraordinary—love your enemies! Do good without restraint! Lend with abandon! Don’t expect anything in return! Then you’ll receive the truly great reward—you will be children of the Most High—for God is kind to the ungrateful and those who are wicked.

    Now here’s where the rubber hits the road with JUDGMENT:

    36 So imitate God and be truly compassionate, the way your Father is. 37 If you don’t want to be judged, don’t judge. If you don’t want to be condemned, don’t condemn. If you want to be forgiven, forgive38 Don’t hold back—give freely, and you’ll have plenty poured back into your lap—a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, brimming over. You’ll receive (those things) in the same measure you give.

    I want you to notice carefully what the subject matter of verses 35-38 above are talking about. It's important to make certain we put verse 38 in context. This is another favorite of the religious legalist mindset. They use this scripture in the context of tithing. (Go back and study the blog on Tithing). However, these scriptures are not talking about tithing. They are talking about being compassionate, not judging, don't condemn and forgiving. That's what will be poured back into your lap, not money.

    So by NOT forgiving others as God has forgiven us in Christ for debts we could not pay, we put ourselves in a prison of torment. Even when someone has not forgiven me, I am in bondage to their unforgiveness. It’s painful, tormenting, a joy stealer, and depressing. More importantly, it is not the freedom for which Christ has set us free! (Galatians 5:1).

    Always remember that a parable is not a comparison, it is a contrast. When we study the parables of Jesus, we must try to find out what it is He’s trying to reveal to us. A parable does not describe actual truth, but instead comes alongside to emulate the truth. As we search out the contrast we will discover the mystery in what is being said.

    Also remember Jesus told the disciples that the reason He spoke in parables is because it was for them to know the truth and not the others. But, they had to seek out the truth in the parables.

    Matt 13:10,11

    10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted."

    Let me just close with these scriptures once again. These are written from the backside of calvary, in the dispensation of grace. After the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. After He said “It is finished”.

    Ephesians 2:7-9.

    That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.

    He showed us the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Jesus Christ. It wasn’t because of our works or kindness to Him. Quite the opposite. Verse 8 goes on to confirm that. It says “not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. It’s not your faith that caused your sins to be forgiven and it’s not faith that brings forgiveness every time you sin. It was God’s grace by sending Jesus to the cross. Now faith responds to that.

    1 John 2:12 says “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for his name’s sake. Forgiven is the greek word aphiemi (a fee a mee). It means to send away, to expire, let go, disregard, to give up and keep no longer. Your sins “have been forgiven”. It’s finished.

    Ephesians 1:7. “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

    Ephesians 4:32 reads “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also HAS forgiven you”.

    It isn’t that we forgive others as some kind of bargaining chip, or payment so that God will forgive us. He already willed to forgive us. We forgive because we are already forgiven. We don’t forgive so that we might be forgiven.

    I’ve said it before but let me repeat it here. We cannot give away what we have not received. We can’t declare healing into others lives if we have not received the declaration of healing from God. “By His stripes you are healed”. We cannot give love to others without God first loving us. We cannot give peace to others without first receiving His peace. Finally, although there are other examples, we cannot forgive others if we first have not received forgiveness. Grace and Peace.