Actions and Reactions

Then his lord called him in, and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn't you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?' His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don't each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.' Matthew 18:32 WEB

When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother in a day, Jesus said seventy-seven times (or 70x7=490 depending on your translation). The pharisees believed not more than three times. Jesus then told them a parable about two men who were both in debt.

One man owed a king 10,000 talents. Now a talent was the highest unit of currency, and ten thousand the highest Greek numeral. This would be like a billion dollars. When the man asked for forgiveness, the king had compassion on him and canceled the debt, letting him and his family go free.

The second man in the parable owed the first one a hundred denarii, about twenty dollars. That is one-six-hundred-thousandth of the first man's debt. Rather than forgive this man his debt, the first wanted to make him pay for it, and had him put in prison.

When word of this got back to the King, he was so upset that he handed the first man over to the torturers to make him pay back the billion dollars that he had owed as well. So both men ended up in prison, and only the one who held the debt could release them, as the king could not release the man who owed the twenty dollars. He did owe it. It was a legitimate debt, and the man that he owed it to was the one that had to release him from it.

Jesus said: 'Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you' (Luke 6:37). 'And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us' (Luke 11:4). In each of these, our action causes a reaction, which is probably why Jesus told us to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, because that is what is going to happen.

We are required to forgive others in order to be forgiven. This is not really a choice. Jesus made it clear that unless you forgive others, you will not be forgiven yourself. Un-forgiveness is a dangerous game to play. The original text conveys that they were handed over to the 'Tormentors', a torturer that would make them pay in some way. This was not a made-up phrase that Jesus happened to use, it was a stern warning to us.

Many of us are in that jail and do not even know it. Many are tormented. We wonder why our life is a living hell, yet we cling to our bitterness like it is all that we have to live for. Let the ones that hurt you go and free yourself from your personal jail. Your life will be so much happier and your mind will be free when you no longer have to track all the wrongs that have been done to you.Prayer:

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