Parable of the unforgiving servant told by Jesus
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What Has Come Before:
FROM Caesarea Philippi, in the far north, Jesus went with his disciples through
Galilee, but not, as at other times, with a great multitude following him. At
this time Jesus wished no one to know of his coming, for he had already preached
to this people, and now he sought to be alone with his disciples. They came to
Capernaum; and while they were there the officer to whom the Jews paid the tax
of half a shekel, or about thirty cents, for each man, said to Peter, "Does not
your Master pay the half-shekel?"
Peter said, "Yes." But when Peter came into the house, Jesus said to Peter,
"Simon, do the kings of the earth take taxes of their own children, or of
strangers?" Peter said to him, "Of strangers, not of their own children." And
Jesus said, "Then the children of the King should be free from the tax. But that
we may not cause trouble, do you go to the lake, and cast in a hook, and pull up
the first fish that comes; and when you have opened his mouth you shall find in
it a piece of money. Take that, and pay it to them for you and for me."...
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Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord,
how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy
times seven. ~Matthew 18:21-22
Matthew 17:24 - 18:35 ; Mark 9:33-48 ; Luke 16:1-12
THE LITTLE CHILD IN THE ARMS OF JESUS
While Jesus was in the house, he said to his disciples, "What was it that you
were talking about among yourselves while you were on the way?"
They looked at one another, and said nothing; for on the way they had been
disputing as to who of them should have the highest places in their Lord's
kingdom. Then Jesus said to them, "If any one among you wishes to be first, let
him be willing to be the last of all, and to be a servant of all."
And Jesus took a little child in his arms, and held him up before all his
disciples, and said to them, "Unless you turn from your ways, and become like
little children in spirit, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever shall be gentle and lowly and willing to be taught, like this little
child, he shall be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever shall
receive one such little child for my sake, he receives me. Take care not to
despise one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their
angels do always look upon the face of my Father who is in heaven. For the Son
of man is come to save that which was lost; and it is not the will of your
Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, how many times should I forgive a brother when
he has sinned against me? Seven times?" Jesus said to Peter, "I do not say that
you should forgive him seven times only, but seventy times seven." Then Jesus
gave to his disciples the parable:
THE PARABLE OF THE UNFORGIVING SERVANT
"There was once a king who had an account made with his servants of how much
money they owed him. One servant was brought before the king; and he owed the
king a great sum of money, ten millions of dollars. The man had nothing with
which to pay his debt, and the king commanded that the man, and his wife, and
his children should be sold as slaves for the debt. Then the servant fell down
before the king, and said, 'Be patient with me; give me time, and I will pay all
that I owe!'
"Then the king felt a pity for his servant, set him free, and let him go without
any payment, giving him all that he owed. But that servant went out and found
another servant who owed him a small sum, only ten dollars. He came to this man,
and took hold of him by the throat, and said, 'Pay what you owe me!' The man
fell down before him, and said, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you!' He
would not wait for the man to earn the money, but threw the man in prison, to
stay there until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants heard of what
he had done, they were sorry for the poor debtor in prison, and came and told
the king all that had been done.
"Then the king sent for the servant, and said to him, 'You wicked servant, I
forgave you all your debt when you asked me to give you time. And you should
have had mercy on your fellow-servant, just as I had mercy on you!' And the king
was angry against the unkind servant, and sent him to prison, and ordered that
he should be made to suffer until he should pay all his debt. So also shall my
heavenly Father do to you, if from your hearts you do not forgive your brothers
who have sinned against you."
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