Bible Society of South Africa
Benescke Janse van Rensburg

Are you grateful? – Day 7

Thankful for forgiveness

Bible text(s)

35And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Matthew 18:35GNBOpen in Bible reader

Restlessly, the king went through his books. He was struggling to sleep and decided to determine if anyone is owing him any money. At one point, he stopped while carefully examining the content. Shocked by his finding, at sunrise he summoned one of his officials.

“Where is my money?” the king shouted, as the official entered the room to stand before the king. The official suddenly turned pale. He owed the king millions of rands. Slowly the officer replied: “I’m sorry, Your Majesty. I do not have the money. I am bankrupt. I will not be able to pay my debt.” This made the king even more furious. He looked at one of his subjects with this command: “Sell all this man’s belongings. Thereafter, take him and his family to the market square and sell them as slaves!”

In total fear, the official knelt before the king, begging for mercy: “Your Majesty, please. I beg you for one last chance. I promise to pay back every cent I owe you …” The king could see this man was remorseful. He, therefore, decided to show him mercy and write off his debt.

As the official left the palace, he found a man on the market square who owed him just a small amount. Enraged at seeing the man, the official grabbed him by his shirt, demanding his money. The debtor begged for mercy: “Please, sir, I beg you for one last chance. I promise to pay back every cent I owe you.” However, the official did not show any mercy, but rather ordered the man to be thrown into jail.

After hearing about this incident, the king summoned the official again. This time the king showed no mercy: “I wrote off your debt of millions,” he shouted at the official, white with rage, “and you could not even show mercy to a man owing you a few rands!” Hereafter, the king ordered that the man be thrown in jail where he would be tortured.

In Matthew 18:35, Jesus ends this parable with the words: “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Think back upon your life for a moment. What has God forgiven you for? Now, who in your life do you need to show the same mercy towards? Does your attitude reflect your gratitude for God’s forgiveness – or are you like the official who forgot what the king did for him? God bless.

Bible Society of South Africav.4.14.1
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