The Limits of Forgiveness
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.22 Or seventy times seven
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold24 Greek ten thousand talents; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wages. was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. 28 Greek a hundred denarii ; a denarius was the usual daily wage of a day laborer (see 20:2). He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
I. What is forgiveness?
II. Levels of offenses
A. Easy to forgive
B. Moderately difficult to forgive
C. Very difficult to forgive
III. Christian faith requirements for forgiveness
A. Optional or necessary? (Matthew 6:9-15)
B. What are the limits? (Matthew 18:21-22)
C. Jesus sets the standard (Luke 23:33-34)
IV. Forgive and forget. . . What does this mean?
A. Not forgetting as a forgiveness out
B. Forgetting the offense but not the circumstances
V. The offender-victim paradigm
A. The victim forgives
B. The offender shows contrition
VI. Forgiveness does not preclude God’s judgment (Romans 12:19-20)
VII. Forgiving those we love
A. Why is it so difficult? The roles of love, trust, and betrayal
B. The conditions that make forgiveness in these cases possible
VIII. The blessings of forgiveness
A. Why all people SHOULD forgive
B. Why Christians MUST forgive
Dr. Lloyd Hulit