“And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.” - Matthew 18:34-35 (KJV)
Have you ever read a passage of scripture that carried you away in a river of reality? Or have you ever had your soul soaked with truth? If you know the word of God and are presently experiencing the Person, Power and Presence of the scriptures (Jesus), you will be continually deposited at the shore of truth and personal application. Humility is always the cure for a hard head and a hard heart.
The Lord Jesus’ lesson about the unforgiving servant engulfed me with an essential element of truth with respect to forgiving those that sin against us. The gravity of the Master’s mandate of forgiveness immediately lifted me out of complacency and created a deeper attitude of gratitude. Unequivocally, when we fix our focus on the forgiveness that our Father has graciously granted us, we are ready to release and forgive others. The parable punctures pride and points to the penalty that packs a wallop of unforgiving consequences.
To process the reality that our merciful, loving Father will deliver you to sources of affliction as a direct result of your refusal to forgive magnifies the seriousness of the sin of unforgiveness.
“and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses.”
Often times we see God through rose-colored glasses as opposed to biblical lenses. It’s challenging to consider the concept that God chastises those that He loves and punishes those that reject His word and authority. He is HOLY. And because He is Holy, His opinion on all sin is never interpreted as an oversight committed by the careless but a transgression against the Law of God (1 John 3:4).
It is a major mistake when we make light of sin and defend disobedience. Sin will always invite an immediate consequence. Can you believe that God’s response to unforgiveness is so serious?
In our text for consideration, the Lord Jesus taught that if we do not extend forgiveness to others we will be delivered over to the tormentors! In Matthew 18:21-35, the Lord used a question presented by Peter about how often we should forgive those that have sin against us. The Lord’s position on forgiveness purges our perception and prohibits us from having a set number of how many times that we should forgive someone or personal conditions on forgiveness. He also presents the punishment that the unforgiving will be sure to experience.
The most egregious element of unforgiveness is that it is selfish. And when self is in the seat of decision making, it never chooses what God wants. It grieves and quenches the Spirit. Consequently, you don’t have the legs of grace to stand on and you are left crippled in resentment, bound in the bonds of bitterness. It also invites an incessant indifference toward intimacy with God.
Jesus said, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
Now, I ask you, could the Lord Jesus Christ be any clearer? Forgiving people is our DNA as Christians! It is what Jesus would do!
For the Glory of God,