Matthew 18:23-32 (NIV)
“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 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.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything. ’ 27 The 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. 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. 31 When 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.
(Believer’s Bible Commentary) 18:24-27 The story concerns a certain king who wanted to clear his bad debts off his books. One servant, who owed him ten thousand talents, was insolvent, so his lord ordered that he and his family be sold into slavery in payment of the debt. The distraught servant begged for time, promising to pay him all if given the chance.
Like many debtors, he was incredibly optimistic about what he could do if only he had time (v. 26). Galilee’s total revenue only amounted to 300 talents and this man owed 10,000! The detail about the vast amount is intentional. It is to shock the listeners and so capture their attention, and also to emphasize an immense debt to God. Martin Luther used to say that we are all beggars before Him. We cannot hope to pay (Daily Notes of the Scripture Union).
When the master saw the contrite attitude of his servant, he forgave him the entire 10,000 talents. It was an epic display of grace, not justice.
(Believer’s Bible Commentary) 18:28–30 Now that servant had a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii (a few hundred dollars). Rather than forgive him, he grabbed him by the throat and demanded payment in full. The hapless debtor pled for an extension, but it was no use. He was thrown into prison till he paid the debt—a difficult business at best, since his chance of earning money was gone as long as he was imprisoned.
18:31–34 The other servants, outraged by this inconsistent behavior, told their master. He was furious with the merciless lender. Having been forgiven a big debt, he was unwilling to forgive a pittance. So he was returned to the jailers’ custody till his debt was paid.
18:35 The application is clear. God is the King. All His servants had contracted a great debt of sin which they were unable to pay. In wonderful grace and compassion, the Lord paid the debt and granted full and free forgiveness. Now suppose some Christian wrongs another. When rebuked, he apologizes and asks forgiveness. But the offended believer refuses. He himself has been forgiven millions of dollars, but won’t forgive a few hundred. Will the King allow such behavior to go unpunished? Certainly not! The culprit will be chastened in this life and will suffer loss at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Things to remember here:
1-the old saying that if you owe the bank a milion the bank owns you but if you owe the bank 100 million you own the bank is just not true… This guy really “should have owned the bank”, but that is not how it is in God’s economics…
2-forgiveness is from the heart, regardless of the amounts involved
3-there is nothing about forgiveness that comes naturally, it is only from God and is only sustained by God…