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The Unforgiving Servant

July 29, 2012 Speaker: Series: The Parables of Jesus

Topic: Parables Verse: Matthew 18:23–18:35


“The Unforgiving Servant”

Matthew 18: 23-35

Pastor Duane Cross | 07.29.2012

“Forgiveness is a beautiful word until you have something to forgive.” C.S. Lewis

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since 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. The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:23-35(NIV)


1) Forgiveness is not the same as forgetting.

2) Forgiveness is not justifying.

3) Forgiveness is our emotional response to the offender.


1) King loves the servant.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” (Lamentations 3:22)

2) The King is not only willing but able to absorb the great loss.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second commandment is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30-31)

“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in it to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” (I John 2:9-11)

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matthew 6:9-15)


1) Because it reflects God’s forgiveness for us and others.

2) Because unforgiveness doesn’t hurt others, it hurts us.

3) Because forgiveness will set you free.

More in The Parables of Jesus

August 5, 2012

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

July 22, 2012

The Parables of the Wedding and the Feast

July 15, 2012

The Pearl of Great Price