Monday, June 25, 2018

Adult Uniform Sunday School Lesson for July 1, 2018

             “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant”

Adult Uniform Sunday School Lesson for July 1, 2018

To recognize the importance of forgiving as we have been forgiven

Bible Lesson
Matthew 18:21-35 (CEB)
21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”
22 Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times. 23 Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle accounts, they brought to him a servant who owed him ten thousand bags of gold. 25 Because the servant didn’t have enough to pay it back, the master ordered that he should be sold, along with his wife and children and everything he had, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. 26 But the servant fell down, kneeled before him, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 27 The master had compassion on that servant, released him, and forgave the loan. 28 “When that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him one hundred coins. He grabbed him around the throat and said, ‘Pay me back what you owe me.’

29 “Then his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ 30 But he refused. Instead, he threw him into prison until he paid back his debt.

31 “When his fellow servants saw what happened, they were deeply offended. They came and told their master all that happened. 32 His master called the first servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 His master was furious and handed him over to the guard responsible for punishing prisoners, until he had paid the whole debt.

35 “My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Key Verse
Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you? (Matthew 18:33)

Some Thoughts
Burgess Walter

As we continue our study of Jesus’ parables, we come across a very difficult one for most of us. How many times should we forgive our brother?

I underlined brother because in the previous verses in this chapter Jesus seems to make a distinction between our brothers and sisters within the church or community. (17  But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector.)

Peter ask a reasonable question, and he shows he has compassion, because the normal times for forgiveness in that day was three times. Peter stretches it to seven as if he knows Jesus will definitely say more than three. Peter and the rest of the disciples were probably shocked when Jesus pushed it to almost infinite number of 70 times 7 or 77 depending on your translation.

I guess you can take some heart in that this applies to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Just as in the parable, the discussion is between the King and His servants.

The parable certainly drives home the point about how we behave as a congregation of believers.

To put the parable in proper perspective, the first servant owed the king  ten thousand bags of gold. Or 6 million days wages. Obviously more than could ever be repaid.  The second servant owed the first servant only 100 coins or about 100 days wages. An amount that could have been repaid over a extended period of time.

Jesus’ point should not be dismissed, we have been forgiven more than we could ever repay in multiple lifetimes. Therefore, reasonable servants should be more than willing to forgive brothers and sisters in Christ and within the body of the church as often as required.  We will be held to a higher standard, than those that did not know better. There is a reason it is included in the Lord’s prayer we love to recite. Forgiveness is not optional for believers.

My hymn for this week is “I Stand Amazed In the Presence of Jesus the Nazarene”

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