“But He Owed Me…”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Genesis 45:1-11
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.
Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’”
Theme: Forgiveness is the hardest calling for Christians. Forgiveness is hard because the person paying for the offensive is the one sinned against. The sinned against person is the one who pays the price of another’s sin and is paying the price to restore the relationship. ~D. Moore
Forgiveness is not a feeling – it’s a decision we make because we want to do what’s right before God.
New Testament reading: Matthew 18:21-35
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
“Therefore the kingdom of Heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. 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.
“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until He should pay back all he owed.
“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”
Forgiveness is love in action, that is the hard work of love. ~D. Moore
Colossians 3:13: Forgive each other as Christ has forgiven you.
There are people who live their life as though there is no external consequences. They don’t understand the seriousness of their sins, which means the less a person appreciates forgiveness, the less they are willing to forgive those who need their forgiveness. Luke 7:47 “He who is forgiven little loves little.” ~D. Moore
Forgiveness always means the one who does the forgiving is going to take on the burden created by the person needing forgiveness. We are called to imitate God. ~D. Moore
Genesis 12:2: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant: The Narrative: Matthew 18:21-35
□ A servant was found who owed the enormous debt of 10,000 talents.
o The servant represents the sinner – each of us.
o Put this debt (10,000 talents) in perspective:
□ One talent = 3,000 shekels
□ One shekel = 4 days’ wages
□ One talent = 12,000 days’ wages
□ 10,000 talents = 120,000,000 days’ wages
□ In our day, one day’s wage is for laborer = $100
□ For man today, debt = 12 trillion dollars
o Picture of enormity of our debt & inability to pay
Luke 7:47: Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.
When you forgive that means you absorb the loss and the debt. You bear it yourself. All forgiveness, then, is costly. ~Timothy Keller
Today, think about the meaning of love and the meaning of forgiveness. Forgiveness is love in action. Forgiveness is the hard work of love. We are called to imitate God’s example of His love for us and His forgiveness of our sins.
As you go into the world this week, think of how God has blessed you in your life. As you have been blessed, find ways to bless those around you.