I want to forgive someone who hurt me, but I can’t.

Most of us have had at least one person who has hurt us or done something bad against us. We know that God commands us to forgive, but we are just too focused on the pain, the anger, all the negative thinking. Peter asked Jesus about forgiving others and He told him a parable.

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. Matthew 18:23-30

I know what you are thinking, nice story but what does it have to do with forgiveness? The master in the parable is God, the debt, sin, the servant, us. Look how much debt (sin) the master (God) forgave the servant (us). A talent was a weight of money equal to six thousand denarii. Since a working man received one denarius a day, one talent was the equivalent of twenty years’ wages, a quarter of a million dollars in today’s terms. The servant owed ten thousand of these, a debt of over two billion dollars! Why does the Lord use such astronomical figures? He is reminding us of our debt before a holy God.

The master forgives the debt and sets the servant free. But when the servant approaches a servant like himself, he demands payment on a debt. Look how much he owes, one hundred denarii, approximately $3,000. You are now understanding the point of the parable; our debt of sin to a holy God is so great we could never repay it. But being sinners ourselves, it is within our ability to tap into the love God has for us, and forgive others.